Counter rally planned in Barrie as opponents to gather against sexual orientation and gender identity in school curriculum

Billed as the “1 Million March 4 Children,” parents group Hands Off Our Kids will hold rallies across Canada on Wednesday, and in Barrie, they could be met with a counter-protest.

The organizers say they are advocating for the elimination of what it calls the “sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) curriculum,”- including pronouns, gender ideology and mixed bathrooms in schools.

“As a symbol of our commitment, students are encouraged to participate in a nationwide school walkout on that day,” the group says on its website.

The group says “together they stand united to safeguard the well-being and innocence of our children.”

Organizers insist the demonstrations are not against the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

“By no means,” the group says on its website in a response to what it says are frequently asked questions. “We deeply value the rich spectrum of perspectives within the 2SLGTQIA+ community. If you share our belief that discussions on gender ideology should be approached at age-appropriate times, we wholeheartedly invite you to stand alongside us and amplify this message.”

The group says its mission is “standing up to free our children from the bondage of indoctrination.”

“We firmly believe that the government should respect the rights of parents, and schools should focus on subjects that prepare children for their future.”

However, the Barrie and District Labour Council (BDLC) is urging the public to attend a counter-march beginning at 10 a.m. at Barrie City Hall, the same time the other march is to begin, from the same location.

“As labour, we know that far from protecting students this will hurt them in so many ways,” BDLC says on its Facebook page. “In this time of unprecedented hate and emboldened anger against so many people, it is now, more than ever, for labour to show as allies to protest targets of hate and bigotry wherever they may be.”