In 2015, Ontario approved an LGBT-inclusive sex education program mentioning same-sex couples and gender identity.
But Doug Ford, Ontario Prime Minister, ended the program in July. This is a campaign promise made to anti-LGBT conservatives.
Ontario Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson, said the new regional government plans to reinstate the 1998 sex and relationship education program. This older version is not LGBT-inclusive.
"Doug Ford is dragging Ontario backwards," said MP Catherine Fife.
"He is taking our province from bad to worse – and nowhere is that more evident than with his decision to put LGBTQ+ youth at risk by forcing the use of the old, 1998 sex ed curriculum."
But you can count on families and on LGBT children to fight! A 11-year-old transgender girl launched a challenge. She was followed by a whole group of families and their children, generally younger than 13.
They argue that the 1998 program is a violation of the human rights of LGBT students.
Attorney Mika Imai said, “[the change is] going to have a huge impact on, particularly, LGBTQ students. We see that as discriminatory and contrary to the code.”
His colleague Marcus McCann added, “We’ve been in conversation with parents of trans and queer youth, currently in Grades K to 8 … and these families are very concerned about the planned changes.”
“Our belief is that shelving the curriculum is raising red flags from a human rights perspective,” he said.
There is a huge mobilization. The 11-year-old girl comes from rural Ontario and the other families come from Guelph, Toronto, Sudbury and other cities. And other families will join the lawsuit in the coming days as Marcus McCann has announced.
The good news is that already some school boards have said that they will continue to promote LGBT-inclusive education, but will they be able afterward to go against the government?
The government will launch consultations on this issue this fall but it didn't share any details for the moment.