The Prime Minister of Quebec took advantage of his Sunday message to relaunch a call for calm in the debate surrounding the rights of transgender people.
François Legault attempted this call to order in a long message in which he outlined his assessment of the week.
After boasting about his stay in New York, where he participated in the launch of the construction of a new electricity transmission line between Quebec and New York State and in a UN session, he adopted a serious tone to evoke the demonstrations on the issue of gender which took place this week in the country.
Placing the participants of the demonstrations and counter-demonstrations on the same footing, he said he did not really like what he observed.
“To see people, from both sides, throwing insults at each other in the streets of Montreal, I found that it was unlike us. I had the impression that we were importing ways of doing things from elsewhere. That’s not how we debate in Quebec! We are a moderate people. We are able to talk to each other,” he writes.
While he recognizes that “insults towards people of sexual diversity are unacceptable”, Mr. Legault deplores the labels “fascist or transphobic” to describe those who question the question of gender identities.
The Prime Minister judges that it is “normal for parents and citizens to ask questions and worry about their children”.
Mr. Legault recalls that the government was not going to order the installation of mixed toilets in Quebec schools. However, he said the government would “take [ses] responsibility” for other issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community.
“We will listen to everyone. We have a duty to be sensitive to people in the LGBTQ+ community, but also to hear the concerns of the general population. We must find a point of balance, moderate as Quebecers are,” he says.
Mr. Legault announced again that a group of wise people will be created to look into these subjects. “Our goal is not to take away anyone’s rights and even less to stigmatize, but rather to document and analyze the consequences of these issues on all of society, on parents, on children,” reiterates -he.
The Prime Minister’s exit comes after the controversy aroused this weekend following the publication of a message from Hydro-Québec on its page X (formerly Twitter). Mr. Legault did not mention the controversy in his Sunday message.
Inclusion is at the heart of our values. We support our colleagues so they can live safely and authentically, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Hydro-Québec supports the LGBTQ+ community. Everyone deserves to live… pic.twitter.com/IUXeW8prlC
— Hydro-Québec (@hydroquebec) September 21, 2023
The controversy was sparked after Hydro-Québec published a message of support for employees of the state corporation “so that they can live in complete safety and authenticity, regardless of their sexual orientation, identity or expression of gender. Hydro-Québec supports the LGBTQ+ community. »
The message was not appreciated by anti-trans activists who reacted by flooding X with transphobic messages, to the point that Hydro-Québec had to close the comments “due to the numerous slip-ups and aggressive comments”.
Hydro-Québec itself added fuel to the fire by publishing a photo of a lizard to describe opponents of transgender rights, accompanied by the message: “We are unmasked. The lizardo-woki-prolgbtq-eating-hummus are everywhere.” This message aroused the ire of these opponents.