BC Liberal ad from Oct. 4, 2019 in The Light Magazine, a Christian publication out of Langley that frequently publishes homophobic and transphobic content. (Lightmagazine.ca)

BC Liberal ad from Oct. 4, 2019 in The Light Magazine, a Christian publication out of Langley that frequently publishes homophobic and transphobic content. (Lightmagazine.ca)

BC Liberals barred from Vancouver Pride Parade if Chilliwack-Kent MLA isn’t ousted

Society that runs the annual parade says failure to do so shows the party is tolerant of homophobia

The Vancouver Pride Society says the BC Liberal Party is no longer welcome at the annual pride parade unless it expels Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness from caucus or, at the very least, removes him from his role as Child Care critic.

The move Thursday came a day after NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert similarly demanded Throness be ousted from caucus for his advertising in a Langley-based conservative Christian publication that frequently publishes homophobic and anti-LGBTQ content.

Throness was one of 14 BC Liberal MLAs who spent thousands of taxpayer dollars to advertise in the magazine. After the practice came to light, a number of MLAs apologized. In a Tweet on June 30, party leader Andrew Wilkinson himself said “there is no room in the BC Liberal Party for homophobia, transphobia, or any other form of discrimination. Going forward, we are taking immediate steps to ensure our advertising decisions reflect those values at all times.”

Throness, however, doubled down and said the magazine aligns with his “Biblical Christian” values.

The magazine has published articles critical of SOGI-123 in schools, one article called medically assisted dying “barbaric,” and an October 2019 piece in the same edition as a BC Liberal ad criticizes a proposed ban on conversion therapy.

• READ MORE: NDP wants Chilliwack-Kent MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

Several others BC Liberals, including Chilliwack MLA John Martin, who advertised in the publication, have been silent.

Asked to comment on the situation by The Chilliwack Progress, Throness declined.

The Vancouver Pride Society threat to kick the BC Liberals out of future pride parades came Thursday in a letter to the party. While Wilkinson implied the party would no longer advertise in the publication, Throness seemed to defy his leader.

“This is incredibly concerning as it suggests that the BC Liberal Party, and caucus, are at the very least tolerant of homophobia and transphobia,” the Pride Society’s statement said.

“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.”

• READ MORE: VIDEO: Liberal bill outlaws conversion therapy for kids, non-consenting adults

Conversion therapy is pseudoscientific practice that aims to turn LGBTQ people straight.

“Conversion therapy is premised on a lie, that being homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or trans is wrong and in need of fixing,” Justice Minister David Lametti said in March after tabling the bill to ban the practice in the House of Commons.

In the statement from the Vancouver Pride Society, it said they use a “parade entrant matrix” that all entrants 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.”

– with a file from Canadian Press


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
editor@theprogress.com

@TheProgress
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

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

Just Posted

The 11th annual Christmas Stocking Drive hosted by Royal LePage runs now until Dec. 11. (David Sucsy, Getty Images via Metro Creative Graphics)
Chilliwack Realtors asking people to help fill Christmas stockings for kids, seniors

Donations of cash, items needed for Christmas Stocking Drive hosted by Royal LePage

The BC Court of Appeal in Vancouver.
BC Court of Appeal hearing Barry Neufeld’s arguments why defamation suit should go ahead

BC Supreme Court tossed out lawsuit against Glen Hansman a year ago following anti-SLAPP legislation

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
First ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room of its kind in B.C. opening in Chilliwack

The ‘Willow Room’ is for reporting domestic violence, sexual, or gender-based violence to police

Trustees Barry Neufeld (left) and Darrell Furgason at a Jan. 29, 2019 meeting. (File photo/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack teachers respond to trustee’s ableist slurs

Teachers’ association calling for Neufeld to resign, board to censure Furgason

Meaghan Esmeijer delivers fully packed diaper backs to the maternity floor of Chilliwack General Hospital as part of the Southside Church ‘Love them Both’ program. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack’s Southside Church spreads Christmas cheer with ‘All is Bright’ day

The fifth annual community outreach event happens Nov. 28 with activities throughout Chilliwack

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

File photo
Surrey RCMP investigating death threat against Surrey councillor

‘On Monday morning I received a threat on messenger that basically said to put a bullet in me,’ Councillor Jack Hundial told the Now-Leader

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read