CALGARY – The Alberta Legislature is passing up an opportunity to provide indelible rights to young Albertans, in the formation of Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) groups in their schools. We believe that all students must have the right to the support of their peers, and we strongly urge all members of the Alberta Legislature to vote against Bill 10 in favour of Bill 202.

While we recognize that Bill 10 is an incremental step in the right direction, it does not go far enough in protecting the rights of young Albertans. Alberta’s youth are under immense academic pressure at this stage in their lives, and must not be expected to seek legal action or judicial review for the simple right of supporting, and being supported by, their LGBTQA peers. If the leaders of our province wish to truly tackle bullying and discrimination, they must take a leadership role for young Albertan’s and remove any barriers limiting their access to these support groups.

It is disheartening to think that in 2014, when same sex marriage has been legal in Canada for over a decade, and pride celebrations in Calgary are approaching their 25th anniversary, issues such as these are still cause for debate. Clearly, there is a continued need for the LGBTQA community to fight for equal rights in all forms, and to stand up against injustices. The Board of Directors for Pride Calgary implore all members of the LGBTQA community, including their allies, to contact their local MLA and challenge them to stand up for the rights of Alberta’s youth by voting against Bill 10.

Pride Calgary Planning Committee is a not-for-profit organization that exists to promote equality and acceptance of Calgary’s LGBTQA community. For media inquiries, please contact Tansy Wong, Director of Communications, at media@pridecalgary.ca

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