VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Tensions ran high outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Saturday when an anti-transgender rally was met with a counter-protest.
Hundreds of protesters chanted, sang and waved their banners in duelling rallies in downtown Vancouver this morning.
Tempers flared, prompting shouting and shoving but no major violence broke out.
— Taran Parmar (@Tarankparmar) June 15, 2019
The LGBTQ community and their allies showed up to oppose a rally against “transgender extremism” organized by a group calling themselves Parents United Canada.
Speakers — who were encircled by hired security and appeared to be guarded by the Soldiers of Odin — included anti-SOGI activist Laura Lynn Tyler-Thompson.
Protesters drowned them out by singing, chanting and drumming in opposition.
Members of the Vancouver Police Department helped keep the crowd under control.
Lee Keple is an ally who joined the counter-protest. She said she was shocked that so many people showed up to rally against transgender rights and the SOGI 123 teaching resource.
“I am just so heartsick and saddened to see how blatant the haters are. They are coming and they are preaching a message of intolerance and hate,” she said.
Keple added that she thinks the anti-SOGI rally’s messages will further alienate young LGBTQ people struggling to be accepted in their schools and communities.