Photo courtesy of opinion250.com
In June, Premier Christy Clark announced that the BC government is spending $2 million dollars on a new 10 step anti-bullying program. ERASE Bullying (Expect Respect and a Safe Education) is to be implemented across the province in September. The strategy is high-tech and includes a smartphone app that will allow kids to report bullying anonymously.
With the rise in teen suicide due to bullying, especially gay teens, it is hard to imagine how anyone could be against this measure. However, an article published by right wing pro-life media outlet LifeNews Media claims that this is the latest guise to normalize homosexuality in Canada.
LifeNews Media’s main source is Kari Simpson, President of Culture Guard. She claims that Premier Clark wants to mobilize children into homosexual activists by “punishing those who dissent from the sex activist political agenda.” Apparently, being a bully is fine if you are targeting LGBTQ persons. This legislation isn’t only for gay teens; it protects everyone from discrimination due to gender, race, religion, culture, and sexual orientation.
Simpson goes even further, ranting that this program aims to destroy traditional families and any campaign that “undermines the natural family unit and should be resisted.” There is nothing ‘natural’ about a heteronormative household that forces women to be mothers and stay in the kitchen while a man carries the financial burden for the family. This model excludes a large portion of society and restricts everyone involved.
I am appalled that a news agency would take this stance against an anti-bullying program that protects children. Bullying kills. LifeNews Media is pro-life, but I don’t understand their logic. Basically, it’s horrible to have an abortion, but supporting teen suicide due to harassment is okay, if the child happens to be LGBTQ? That’s the impression this article gives.
I don’t know when Canada became a hotbed of homophobic ultra-conservative activity; but the tolerant country that we know and love seems to be changing before our eyes. Our society is moving backwards to the point that there are some people who believe that bullying those who are different is acceptable.
We have to stop bullying—and discrimination in any form—now. Kids shouldn’t be afraid to go to school because of their classmates or teachers. Canada’s strength lies in its diversity and the government should take every step to protect every member of our community. We need to continue to be a beautiful garden of flowers of all kinds, not a uniform soccer field. Only then will each of us blossom to reach our fullest potential.
Kait Bolongaro loves to write about cultures and how people occupy them. She is a freelance culture journalist and photographer who is addicted to travelling. Kait continues to discover new lands and adventures, starting with a Masters of Journalism in Denmark in the fall. To follow her on her journeys, check out her website or follow her on twitter.