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.

Just Posted

1,001 Steps – along with Christopherson Steps – was closed by the City of Surrey last spring in an attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19. They are set to reopen this week, as a note on a city sign attests (inset). (File photo/Contributed photo)
South Surrey’s beach-access stairs set to reopen

Christopherson Steps, 1,001 Steps have been closed since April 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic

Surrey council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council endorses ‘public engagement’ strategy

Council approves ‘Public Engagement Strategy and Toolkit,’ and a ‘Big Vision, Bold Moves’ transportation public engagement plan

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council approves $7.3 million contract for street paving projects

City council awarded Lafarge Canada Inc. $7,326,667.95 for 15 road projects in North Surrey and one in South Surrey

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Locke seeks breakdown on what Surreyites get for taxes paid to Metro Vancouver

Surrey councillor presented motion to council Monday asking city staff to do a cost/benefit analysis

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
SURREY NOW & THEN: Little Theatre’s 59-year history ends with big plans for move to Langley

A former church, the theatre building/property has sold for close to $900,000

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

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

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Most Read