I know I don’t need to tell you the important role you’ve played in our province’s governance and social richness.
I’ve witnessed your passion for our community and some of its most vulnerable people through your philanthropy and time.
Unfortunately our new government has passed Bill 8, which I and many others have a deep sense of regret and concern about, particularly as it relates to the protections afforded to some of Alberta’s most vulnerable youth. As a member of the LGBTQ2 community who grew up under constant fear of being outed and kicked out of my home, I have a deep empathy for the fear created by the allowance that this Bill will make for schools to disclose a student’s sexuality without their consent.
I believe this Bill to be unconstitutional and in conflict with LGBTQ2 youth’s Charter Rights to freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly.
Given that nearly 40% of homeless youth are identified as LGBTQ2 and the leading cause of that homelessness is family rejection, as well as LGBTQ2 youth being 6-7 times more likely to attempt self harm or suicide than their straight peers, the potential for being outed without consent also presents a conflict for students with their Charter Right to life, liberty, and security of the person.
I know there are historical precedents of your predecessors advising their Premiers to seek legal opinion on the constitutionality of their legislation, and withholding Royal Assent until such time as this has occurred.
I believe that you have a strong case to do the same with this Bill. I sincerely thank you for taking the time to hear my concerns.
If you so wish, I have attached a study from the University of British Columbia that shows evidence of the social good of GSAs and having these privacy protections in place, as well as a blog I wrote detailing my experience as a gay youth and what it would have meant to me to have these supports in high school.