A large rainbow flag is carried down Robson Street during the Vancouver Pride Parade in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday, August 2, 2015. For some, it’s best not to refer to the LGBTQ community at all. The acronym, that is.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver Public Library banned from Pride parade after allowing controversial speaker

Vancouver Public Library allowed Meghan Murphy to book space for an event at the library in January

The Vancouver Public Library has been uninvited from participating in next month’s pride events, marking the second organization to be barred by the Vancouver Pride Society.

The society said in a news release Tuesday that the decision to ban the library from participating comes after library management decided to allow “Meghan Murphy to book space for an event that undermined the dignity of trans women” in January.

Earlier this month, the University of B.C. was banned from marching in the parade after also allowing “transphobic hate speech” by anti-SOGI activist Jenn Smith on its campus. At the time, UBC allowed Smith to speak, citing free speech rights.

LGBTQAI2S+ and employees of both the library and university can still march in the parade under other organizations and respective unions.

READ MORE: UBC banned from marching in Vancouver Pride Parade after allowing ‘transphobic hate speech’

“When we released our decision about UBC, several people told us to keep the politics out of Pride,” said Vancouver Pride Society executive director, Andrea Arnot.

“Pride was born from resistance led by trans women of colour. Pride has always been political.”

The society says it discussed its concerns with the library since Murphy spoke earlier this year, and issued a joint letter written by the Coalition Against Trans Antagonism urging for changes to the library’s rental policy.

In an emailed statement to Black Press Media, the Vancouver Public Library said it is disapointed in the decision by the society.

“As a public institution, VPL is committed to providing a venue where diverse ideas and opinions can be shared and discussed. We feel that it is through exposure to different ideas and opinions that society can make informed choices about their core beliefs,” the statement reads.

“We acknowledge that this value has led to concerns related to our room rental policies and has caused a loss of trust for some in the LGBTQ2+ community.

“We hope to regain that trust as we continue our longstanding commitment to promoting dialogue and raising marginalized voices through our programs and services.”

The library added that the society is asking it to go beyond what is legally allowed by freedom of expression, and hopes to march as an organizatio0n next year.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey-Langley SkyTrain business case to go to mayor’s council next week

Also plans for agreement that ‘commits’ Surrey to policies, initiatives to help ensure project’s success

LETTER: Cats can be such a wonderful addition to a family

Following seizure of animals from a Langley ‘rescue’, letter writer asks pet owners to be responsible

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Kobe Bryant killed in California helicopter crash: reports

NBA star was reportedly in his private helicopter at the time of the crash

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24