They don’t look like bigots to me.
But apparently these people, according to Ontario’s top political leaders, are heading down a path of intolerance by merely sticking up for their kids.
First it was Premier Kathleen Wynne, who disgracefully used the homophobic label to describe some in the crowd last year at Queen’s Park protesting the age appropriateness of the Liberal government’s updated sex-education curriculum.
Then it was Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown, leader of the official Opposition and one-time ally of those opposed to the curriculum update, who not only changed his position twice on whether to repeal the controversial changes, but who unfairly and unwisely lobbed the term “intolerance” at them.
If you speak out about concerns regarding early-age sex ed for children, the people at the top of the province have names to call you.
I just call them parents.
They’re good people from all races and religious backgrounds who have a right to their point of view — especially since the updated approach, which introduces lessons on the dangers of oral and anal sex at early ages and dives into the world of the six genders, was created under the direction of a man, Benjamin Levin, serving time in prison for child porn-related crimes.
There is a bad guy, and it isn’t any one of the moms and dads or religious or pro-life people I have met on this journey.
Meanwhile, it’s not who was at the rally that stood out — Campaign Life Coalition spokesman Jack Fonseca spoke passionately, as did federal Conservative leadership candidate MP Brad Trost, Charles McVety and strong advocates Jotvinder Sodhi, Tanya Granic Allen, Christina Liu and Scott Masson.
It’s who wasn’t there.
Last time, Brown rallied alongside those opposing the sex-ed changes. He loudly expressed his disapproval of the curriculum.
But with his changing of positions last week, he wasn’t among the 500 who came out to protest.
Nor was anyone from his caucus.
They were like ghosts.
Noticeably absent Wednesday was MPP Monte McNaughton, who popped his head out before the rally to say hello to some people, but quickly headed back into Queen’s Park before things got going.
“He is in a tough spot,” McVety said of McNaughton, who has voiced his opposition to the changes in the past and attended the group’s previous rally.
McNaughton has to toe the party line. Actually, it’s Brown’s line.
With Brown now unwilling to fight their fight, it wasn’t lost on people at the rally that short of ousting the PC leader their battle has become even more uphill.
“It was like a punch in the gut,” Liu said. “People feel so betrayed and are so hurt by what he did and what he said.”
Going as far as telling social conservatives, who backed him for the leadership, to vote for someone else, Brown really did stick the political knife in the backs of the people who believed him when he said he would scrap the curriculum.
I would still like to see Brown invite them into a private room and apologize for what he said, and promise to find a middle ground once elected premier in 2018.
Few think it could ever happen.
“It’s done,” Sodhi said, adding Brown’s lost their trust, and in politics “it’s very hard to get back.”
Now there seems to be a bigger hate on for Brown than even Wynne. Most of the talk was about pushing Brown out of office.
“Nothing can be repaired until this issue is taken before the party and a leadership review is conducted,” Liu said.
With social conservatives making up to 40% of the membership, it’s obvious Brown must reach out to them and mend these fences, whether he likes it or not.
They are not intolerant, they’re moms and dads worried about the premature sexualization of their children. Let the name-calling start and end there.