A Call for Love and Welcome in the Face of Anti-2SLGBTQIA+ Hate
Date: September 19, 2023
As representatives of the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) and Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada (UUMOC), we are deeply concerned about the rise in bigotry and hate directed towards the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. (In 2021 alone, hate crimes against the queer community rose by 64%, and this number continues to rise.)
On September 6, 2023, we issued a statement affirming the gender identity and expression of all students in response to education policies that were recently introduced in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Since then, we have learned that anti-2SLGBTQIA+ activists (who would like to see more of these policies put in place) plan to rally at legislatures, city halls, and school board offices across the country on Wednesday, September 20. They are forming under the “1 Million March 4 Children” banner.
“The organizers of these events are opposed to what they call “gender ideology” and “LGBTQ indoctrination” in schools,” says Kiersten Moore, President of the CUC Board of Trustees. “They are using highly emotional rhetoric to appeal to people’s desire to protect children, but the solutions they seek will not protect kids who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans. We do not protect children’s innocence by erasing the existence of gender diverse or LGBTQ+ children and families.”
Rev. Samaya Oakley, the President of UUMOC, agrees. “When your family or your culture tell you that there is something wrong with you, there can be significant mental health impacts. Teens who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ are more likely to have suicidal thoughts than those who are straight. Many face bullying, harassment, and even violence.”
In 2006, the CUC adopted a resolution that “affirms and promotes the equal rights of persons regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” For more than twenty years, we have been challenging ourselves to identify and address barriers that prevent gender-diverse people of all ages from participating fully in our congregations and in society.
Today we are calling on Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith and conscience to show love and welcome to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in the face of hatred.
- If there is a protest in your community on September 20, make plans to counter-protest with community partners.
- Connect with your faith community and work together to find out what your ministry can do to respond faithfully to these issues.
- Contact politicians, in particular school trustees/MPs, to express your support for gender-affirming policies and inclusive education, and your opposition to policies that would forcibly out trans youth (sample letter).
It is vital that 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals are celebrated and loved in our congregations and in our communities.
From the CUC’s National Voice Team: UU Ministers of Canada President, Rev. Samaya Oakley; CUC Board President, Kiersten Moore, and Executive Director, Vyda Ng.
The Canadian Unitarian Council / Conseil unitarien du Canada (CUC) is the national association of Unitarian Universalist congregations across Canada. The Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada (UUMOC) represents over 70 active ministers who serve congregations or work in the larger community.
We are a diverse religion bound by a common commitment to equity and justice. We covenant to a set of principles, which calls us to seek peace, liberty and compassion, to search for truth and meaning, and to respect the inherent worth and dignity of every person and the democratic process.