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Counter rally to anti-SOGI event planned in Oak Bay

Last Updated Apr 30, 2019 at 11:34 am PDT

(Courtesy Oak Bay Parks, Recreation & Culture)

Despite some opposition, a Victoria-area mayor says an anti-SOGI event will go ahead in Oak Bay on city property

A counter-protest is being planned in response to an anti-SOGI gathering in Oak Bay on Thursday

OAK BAY (NEWS 1130) – An anti-SOGI, anti-transgender group that’s been very vocal in the Fraser Valley is taking it’s message to the Island.

Many locals are not happy the group is being allowed to rent community space for an event.

However, the Mayor of Oak Bay says the city has no choice but the let the event go ahead on city property.

“Even though this is allowed, it still has some harmful effects,” Mayor Kevin Murdoch says. “The people in our community, and I think it’s worth us getting together in the community, just to recognize that the vast majority of people are very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.”

The group, which will hear from speaker Jenn Smith, has a message similar to what the Culture Guard group has promoted on the Lower Mainland.

Meantime, a counter-rally is being planned at a park near where the event is taking place Thursday night, to ensure the community “sees that hatred and anti-trade bigotry has no place in our community.”

Members of the school district council are putting on a counter event focused on supporting diversity.

He notes there’s no legal reason to oust a speaker who campaigns against an LGBT-inclusive curriculum, despite how it can affect the community.

“Especially young people, and they feel very vulnerable when these sorts of discussions happen, because people feel that they’re discussing their own worth. That’s very negative, and it can be very hurtful, and they’re scary.”

Murdoch will be joined by some members of the local school district as well as the broader community during their counter rally.