Rev. Ingrid Brown is among hundreds of Christian leaders in B.C. who have petitioned Education Minister Rob Fleming to express their support of an educational resource concerning sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).
School districts across the province are using SOGI 123, a free online program available to teachers.
“There’s more than one way to understand the gospel,” said Brown, minister of Christian formation and community outreach at St. George’s United Church in Courtenay. “The majority of the press has been hearing a more conservative view of things, and that’s not the only way. There is a multitude of ways to understand it. At the end of the day, we want to err on the side of grace, err on the side of love, err on the side of mercy, of humanity, and ultimately we believe that God’s judgment is a judgment of mercy and forgiveness for all.”
The petition came about after other Christian leaders and members protested SOGI. The West Coast Christian Accord petitioned Fleming in September to withdraw the program from schools. The Record tried to reach WCCA members but did not receive a response.
The petition favouring SOGI 123 recognizes a diversity of viewpoints in the Christian community.
“We understand that we fall on different sides, particularly of this issue,” said Brown, who has children in the public school system. “Our kids are hearing about this and learning about this from their peers. What SOGI gives is a tool kit for teachers to teach appropriately, to equip and inform their students. They’re immersed in a culture that understands gender fluidity and homosexuality, and all these types of sexual orientation and gender expression.”