A bid by a group of Abbotsford students to stage a Pride parade has generated a war of words on Facebook.
“Ew,” writes one contributor to the 1,000 People Against the Pride Parade for Abbotsford. “No one wants to see a pride parade in ABBOTSFORD organized by a bunch of sexually CONFUSED pre-teens who believe they are gay or bi.”
“A fair amount of people disagree with the group that says that having a gay pride parade in Abbotsford would be wrong,” counters a contributor to the pro-parade site.
John Kuipers, president of the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) Pride Society, says his group is now working with the students “to get something out into the community.”
“I’m working on holding a demonstration at the university, on the campus here in Abbotsford,” Kuipers reveals.
“The Pride Society at the university, the members are on board with that 100 percent,” he adds.
So far no date has been finalized for the event, Kuipers says.
“There’s probably about a good dozen youth that are taking up this initiative and are really the frontliners in doing this.”
The move for a Pride parade follows a student protest against the Abbotsford school district last month, after the district dropped the Social Justice 12 course from its offerings this semester.
The Abbotsford School Board is now facing a human rights complaint for dropping the course.
Murray and Peter Corren, the queer couple who won a human rights settlement against the education ministry requiring the inclusion of queer content in BC schools in 2006, filed the complaint against the board for dropping the course at one high school.
The course deals, in part, with issues such as sexual orientation, gender identity and homophobia.
The school board says it had asked for time to examine the course after the ministry approved it, and advised its schools to withhold the course until the review could be completed.
However, the course wound up being offered at WJ Mouat Secondary where 90 students suddenly had to find another elective to take its place.
Murray Corren wouldn’t comment on the issue for Xtra West, but he reportedly told other media outlets that he filed an electronic complaint with BC’s Human Rights Tribunal Oct 16. He also said he’s ready to negotiate with Abbotsford officials to avoid a hearing.
The school district confirmed in an Oct 17 statement that it had received an email from the Correns advising of the complaint.
With files from Natasha Barsotti.