Rally and counter-protest held in downtown Fort McMurray

Counter-protesters outside of Fort McMurray courthouse – Alex MacLeod

A peaceful rally and counter-protest were held outside of the courthouse early Saturday afternoon.

The rally was called the “Worldwide Stop the War on Children Rally” and protested sexual orientation and gender identity, also known as SOGI 123, being taught in schools.

The counter-protest was organized by Pride YMM under the name “Stand Up to Hate” which protested the rally and supported the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

Rally members outside of Fort McMurray courthouse – Alex MacLeod

Rally protesters were seen holding signs saying “Protect our children” and “Respect parental rights! Say no to gender indoctrination!”

One rally protester said they were not against the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities but rather did not want his children taught sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.

Rally protester

“I don’t come here as a politician. I have three kids and they go to school as well. I don’t want them to educate sexual orientation for small kids,” he says.

“It’s not that we are against lesbian, gay. It’s not like that. We respect their religion, we respect their belief.”

He says that 2SLGBTQIA+ members are welcome on their side and their goal is to spread love.

Counter-protesters held signs saying “Inclusion is not indoctrination” and “Teach love not hate”.

A counter-protester said they were there to protect all kids.


“We’re not trying to convert kids. Kids are already going to be queer, there’s nothing we can do to switch it either way,” he says.

“But we’re making sure they have safe spaces, is what saves lives.”

He says although both groups are there for the children, he believes the other side to be spreading misinformation.

No altercations were seen between the two groups with eight RCMP cars watching the protests.

The counter-protest outnumbered the rally by three to one.

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