Kent–Chilliwack MLA Laurie Throness weighs in on SOGI

In the aftermath of a rather punishing debate about SOGI, please allow me to offer a few comments that, I think, reflect the views of a majority of my constituents.

No one thinks that bullying is acceptable. The good people of Chilliwack are kind and tolerant; just look at the incredible charitable work that goes on in our city. Words like ‘hatred’ do not apply to them, or to me. I serve the transgendered in our community with compassion and respect.

Opposition is a good thing, that’s why we cherish and nurture debate in the legislature, the courts, and the media. It is a mark of health in a free, democratic, and pluralistic society, for reasonable people to disagree on any topic and voice their opinions. It is not healthy, particularly for the media which has a special interest in promoting freedom of speech, to shame and condemn those who speak freely.

My concern about SOGI, which I have expressed publicly in the legislature, is that helpful teaching about acceptance and tolerance may go further; promoting a philosophy of gender and human nature that may predispose impressionable children and youth to make decisions they will later regret.

I am concerned about SOGI’s confidentiality provisions that could limit parental knowledge, and therefore their involvement, particularly in the lives of younger students.

Finally, I am concerned about the imposition of a monoculture on independent schools.

I think of our gender as a resilient plant, rooted in the soil of our biological characteristics. Above ground, the winds of culture can blow that plant in a variety of directions without harm, but attempting to uproot it from its biological soil – to separate gender from biology – may generate inner conflicts that result in mental health problems.

In the best interests of our children and youth, I would encourage our public officials to carefully examine and consider all aspects of SOGI teaching resources, as well as alternative resources that could be made available to teachers – in a clear-eyed, calm and rational way.

Laurie Throness

MLA Chilliwack-Kent

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