Manitobans divided on forcing LGBT support in Steinbach, poll suggests
Respondents weigh in on inaugural Steinbach Pride, school division's LGBT controversy
Manitobans are wrestling with the idea of whether the province's so-called Bible Belt should be forced to support LGBT people, a new poll suggests.
About half of respondents to the Probe Research survey said they think the personal views of politicians should be respected when it comes to attending Steinbach's inaugural parade. A large number of those respondents were 55 or older.
However, half of those surveyed also thought that the province should intervene to force Hanover School Division to talk about LGBT topics in its classrooms.
Steinbach Mayor Chris Goertzen, local MLA Kelvin Goertzen and Conservative MP Ted Falk have faced public scrutiny for saying that they will not be attending the Steinbach Pride march.
In a statement issued June 20, Falk asked the public to respect his decision to not participate in the event.
"I've been clear on this issue many times, and have made my position public on my values of faith, family, and community," he said.
About half of the poll's respondents — 52 per cent — thought Falk's personal views as a politician should be respected.
However, more than one third — 36 per cent — of the people surveyed in the online poll said politicians should attend Pride festival events regardless of their personal beliefs.
The survey also asked respondents whether they believe Education Minister Ian Wishart should force Hanover School Division to include conversations about sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom.
Hanover School Division recently refused to change its policy that prohibits LGBT topics in the classroom.
Michelle McHale was one of the parents who requested the change because her 12-year-old child was being bullied for having two moms. She received backlash, including a comment on Facebook where one person posted "Can we just kill her please?"
- Hanover School Division stands behind policy prohibiting LGBTQ issues in classroom
- Steinbach-area mom shocked that school division prohibits conversations around sexual orientation
Half of respondents to the Probe survey said they believe Education Minister Ian Wishart should force Hanover School Division to include conversations about sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom.
One-third said the elected school trustees should be left with the final decision.
Probe Research surveyed 653 adults between June 30 and July 4, 2016. Participants were recruited through Probe Research's quarterly, random telephone poll, the Probe Omnibus Survey.
A probabilistic sample of this size would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 3.83 per cent, 19 times out of 20.