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Updated: September 19, 2023

In response to news of hate-fuelled marches planned in cities and towns across B.C. for Sept. 20, 2023, Commissioner Kasari Govender issued the following statement:

I am very disturbed by news of hate fuelled marches planned for Sept. 20, 2023, in several places across B.C. The right to peaceful demonstration is an important tool to protect our democracy and generate debate. But as Human Rights Commissioner, I want to be very clear: the human rights of trans and LGBTQ2SAI+ people are not up for debate.

Denying the existence of trans and gender diverse people—including calls to erase trans and LGBTQ2SAI+ people from our province’s curricula—is hate, and hate should have no place in our community or in our schools. Trans and LGBTQ2SAI+ people don’t just have a right to exist—they have a right to thrive, to be loved and to have their human dignity recognized, represented and respected, as we all do.

As shown in my Office’s recent Inquiry into hate in the pandemic, 62% of LGBTQ2SAI+ students feel unsafe at school, compared to 11% of cisgender or heterosexual students.1 As a parent, I plead with those who may think they are protecting their children: Erasing LGBTQ2SAI+ people from our curriculum will not change your child’s identity, but it will make schools, and the LGBTQ2SAI+ people in them, less safe. To all young people I say: You have rights and you matter. I stand with you with pride.

Now is the time to take action to address the campaigns of misinformation and organized hate that give rise to marches like these. Hate is not the amorphous, unsolvable issue it may at first appear to be. In fact, in March 2023, I delivered to B.C.’s Legislature the results of our public inquiry into experiences of hate, including 12 recommendations that provide a roadmap of how to take tangible and transformative action against hate. Today I have issued a letter to Premier David Eby calling on the provincial government to show how these recommendations are being implemented.

When we stand together against anti-trans hate, we stand together against all hate. In recent years, trans people have become the focus of a surge of disinformation, conspiracy theories and hate. This is not only about hate on the basis of gender identity; these rallies are an affront to human dignity, expression and rights for all of us. I condemn these rallies for their attempts to erase and marginalize trans and LGBTQ2SAI+ people. In our schools, in our communities and across our province, there is no space for hate.

Additional resources

[1] Egale, “Still In Every Class In Every School,” Egale, n.d., https://egale.ca/awareness/still-in-every-class/


Media contact

For questions about this statement, media may contact media@bchumanrights.ca or 604-306-7369.

Please note that the Commissioner is unfortunately unavailable for interview on September 19-22 due to existing commitments. Media are invited to quote from either the statement or the letter to the Premier.

Media kit

Visit our media kit for images of Commissioner Kasari Govender and other resources.


BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner exists to address the root causes of inequality, discrimination and injustice in B.C. by shifting laws, policies, practices and cultures. We do this work through education, research, advocacy, inquiry and monitoring. Learn more at: bchumanrights.ca

About the Commissioner

B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner, Kasari Govender, started her five-year term on Sept. 3, 2019. As an independent officer of the Legislature, Commissioner Govender is uniquely positioned to ensure human rights in B.C. are protected, respected and advanced on a systemic level. Her work through BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner centres listening deeply to British Columbians to inform educational materials, policy guidance, public inquiries, interventions, community-based research and more that protects marginalized communities, addresses discrimination and injustice and upholds human rights for all.

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