Letter: People on both sides of SOGI issue deserve to be heard

Editor: As an interested parent and former schoolteacher, I have attended a number of meetings related to SOGI and listened carefully to both sides give their reasons why SOGI should and should not be adopted in B.C. schools.

First, those on both sides of the issue have important concerns to be heard and they should be heard, not ignored or ridiculed.

We live in a democracy and a very diverse province and nation.

People have different beliefs and understandings related to sexuality and when it should be taught to children and especially by whom.

We would not teach our children to ridicule others who have different beliefs but rather try and understand and learn from others who think differently to us.

We might call this tolerance and yet I am not seeing that modeled during the meetings I have attended— for and against SOGI.

The SOGI issue is an ethical one for both sides and we know from history that rarely do we obtain a consensus on matters related to ethics and morals.

After attending some of the meetings as an interested parent and former schoolteacher, I have found that neither side is advocating hate against anyone, and yet it seems that both sides perceive the other as an enemy.

Let us open a respectful conversation and listen to the concerns that both sides have on this very important issue.

Calling those who disagree with SOGI insulting names that are not accurate is not going to do anything except provide more motivation to stand one’s ground and fight.

Both sides should model how they would want children to behave when they disagree with others. I think about the philosopher Voltaire, who said, “I disapprove of what you say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.”

This is a model for living in a free, diverse democratic province and nation and I hope we can still disagree and yet fight for others to think differently.

Matt Etherington,

Langley