Vancouver/Fraser Valley – JULY 21 UPDATE – The Vancouver Pride Society made good on its threat to the BC Liberal party over their stance with the controversial Thanksgiving ad in 2019. The Liberals were formally notified on Tuesday that they are not allowed to march in the 2020 Vancouver Pride Parade.
JULY 16 ORIGINAL STORY – In response to the controversy over the BC Liberals October 2019 Thanksgiving ad in “The Light Magazine” and the stance on anti-trans and pro-conversion therapy, now comes further action. (The ad came into public question in June of 2020).
The Vancouver Pride Society says they will revoke parade status of BC Liberals if necessary action is not taken to make it clear that their organization does not tolerate homophobia and transphobia.
Note: The Vancouver Pride Parade is not cancelled, but re-imagined. The 2020 Vancouver Virtual Pride Parade will feature a combination of photo and video submissions sent in by participating organizations. A Live Stream will be held on August 2, featuring an hour-long, professional live stream event edited by DailyHive. With live hosts and activities planned throughout to keep audiences engaged, the Vancouver Virtual Pride Parade followed by a virtual Sunset Beach Main Stage Show will feature the high quality entertainment you have come to expect from our festival.
Throness has been steadfast in his comments and beliefs from his religious viewpoint.
Chilliwack’s other MLA, John Martin, remains tight lipped through this controversy.
At a time when the Federal government is exploring not just banning, but criminalizing conversion therapy it is shocking that we are having to hold the BC Liberal Party to account for the actions of one of their members. It has come to our attention through recent news stories (see below) that the party has advertised in a publication called “The Light Magazine”. This publication has published articles elevating anti-trans and pro-conversion therapy rhetoric targeting LGBQAI2S+ people. These views put LGBTQAI2S+ British Columbians in danger, and have deleterious effects on their health and well-being.
These advertisements featured the Party Leader as well as a number of other MLAs. BC Liberal Party Leader, Andrew Wilkinson, gave assurances that these advertisements would not continue, however MLA Laurie Throness continues to advertise in “The Light Magazine”, elevating homophobic and transphobic views. This is incredibly concerning as it suggests that the BC Liberal Party, and caucus, are at the very least tolerant of homophobia and transphobia.
In correspondence on Thursday, the Vancouver Pride Society informed the BC Liberal Party that if action is not taken, they will be excluded from participation in the parade. Vancouver Pride Society has a parade entrant matrix, which all entrants to the parade and ancillary events are scored against. These recent events have led us to re-score the application and find that the BC Liberal Party no longer meets the minimum requirement for participation.
Vancouver Pride has requested that MLA Throness be sanctioned and that action minimally include removal from their role as Child Care Critic but ideally, expulsion from caucus. We encourage the BC Liberal Party to take the necessary action to make it clear to all that their organization does not tolerate homophobia and transphobia. Participants in our events that celebrate, uplift and elevate LGBTQAI2S+ communities must be held to a higher standard.