A protest planned for tomorrow in downtown Whitehorse is causing consternation across the city.
Late Monday afternoon, the City of Whitehorse issued a news release condemning the intent of the “Million March 4 Children” event.
“While the city supports people’s right to organize and protest, we stand by our 2SLGBTQIA+ community members and their right to live their true selves safely and free of harassment and hate,” the news release stated.
“The promotion of anti-2SLGBTQIA+ ideas has no place in our community, and messages that target fellow community members will not be tolerated.
“No member of our community should ever feel targeted, especially because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, race, religion, nationality, age, or background.”
Bylaw Services has been made aware of the event, which will begin at Shipyards Park, along with plans for a counter-protest, the city added.
“Bylaw officers will be on-site to ensure the safety of all participants, and compliance with the city’s bylaws. We are also in touch with the Whitehorse RCMP, who are aware of the event.”
Coun. Michelle Friesen also spoke on the issue during Monday evening’s council meeting.
“I’m really proud of the city for speaking up on this issue. It means so much to queer and trans youth that their city supports them,” Friesen said.
“I want to take the opportunity to speak out against the anti-trans protest that’s been planned to fuel hate and encourage discrimination and to cause harm to our community.
“Unfortunately, this hate has found its way into our community, and I think it’s important that we come together to celebrate love and acceptance and let it be known there is no place for this behaviour and discrimination here.”
The Yukon Employees’ Union (YEU) has also released a statement criticizing the march event.
“The Million March for Children is a rally to promote hatred and exclusion. It’s a march against science, against human rights, and against human dignity,” the statement reads.
“Coercing children to skip school and march against the rights of their peers is misguided and regressive, and it’s anti-2SLGBTQIA indoctrination,” the YEU said.
“We invite you instead to join the counter-protest, taking place September 20th, noon at the Yukon Legislative Building.”
The statement continues, “Yukon Employees’ Union stands proudly in defence of the rights of trans youth.
“We stand united against bigots and bullies threatening harm to any member of our community. We will continue to fight to help ensure everyone can live safely and thrive here, including two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex and asexual Yukoners.”