Regina Pride Bans Saskatchewan Party Members Over Pronoun Law

Queen City Pride excludes Saskatchewan Party legislature members from Pride celebrations, citing the government's passing of Bill 137, which restricts children's ability to change their name and pronouns at school. The organization cancels the provincial flag-raising ceremony, condemning the government's use of the notwithstanding clause to pass the law.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Regina Pride Bans Saskatchewan Party Members Over Pronoun Law

Regina Pride Bans Saskatchewan Party Members Over Pronoun Law

Queen City Pride has announced that it will be excluding Saskatchewan Party legislature members from participating in this year's Pride celebrations in Regina. The organization has also cancelled the provincial flag-raising ceremony, which is typically held at the Provincial Legislative Building on June 1st.

The decision was made in response to the Saskatchewan government's passing of Bill 137, also known as the Parents' Bill of Rights. The legislation restricts children's ability to change their name and pronouns at school without parental consent. Queen City Pride believes the government's actions do not align with the values of the LGBTQ+ community.

Why this matters: This controversy highlights the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights and the importance of protecting marginalized youth from discriminatory legislation. The implications of this law could have far-reaching consequences for the safety and well-being of transgender and nonbinary students in Saskatchewan.

"We do not believe the current Saskatchewan government is our ally, and we do not believe it would be appropriate to allow them to take part in such an important event for our community," Queen City Pride said in a release. The organization condemned the government's use of the notwithstanding clause to pass Bill 137, which they believe puts the lives of youth "incredibly dangerous."

The law requires students under 16 to obtain parental or guardian consent for school staff to use their preferred name or gender identity. The notwithstanding clause was invoked, allowing the law to stand regardless of whether it violates sections 2, 7, and 15 of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"We will not allow them to masquerade as allies and supporters, then put our community in danger for the other eleven months of the year," Queen City Pride stated. "We want to ensure all members of our community, especially our youth that have been targeted recently, feel safe, comfortable, and supported while at any of our festival activities. We choose to be safe and show that love is love."

The controversy surrounding Bill 137 has sparked widespread criticism from LGBTQ+ rights advocates, parents, youth, teachers, school boards, human rights groups, non-profit supports, and law and politics professors. The law has been accused of disproportionately targeting transgender and nonbinary youth, trampling their rights to safety, privacy, and autonomy, and putting them in danger of potential physical, emotional, or sexual violence.

In a joint statement, the justice ministers of Saskatchewan and Alberta said, "Saskatchewan and Alberta agree that the ultimate authority figures in children's lives are their parents." Pride month celebrations will still take place in Regina and Saskatoon, with Queen City Pride and YWCA Regina organizing a rally at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building grounds on Friday, May 17th at 6:30 p.m. as part of a national "Rainbow Week of Action" from May 11-17.

Key Takeaways

  • Queen City Pride excludes Saskatchewan Party legislature members from Pride celebrations.
  • Decision made in response to Bill 137, restricting children's ability to change name and pronouns at school.
  • Bill 137 requires parental consent for students under 16 to use preferred name or gender identity.
  • Critics argue the law targets transgender and nonbinary youth, putting them in danger.
  • Pride month celebrations will still take place in Regina and Saskatoon despite controversy.