FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO – August 8, 2013 - ProudPolitics applauds the Government of Canada and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird, in particular, for his principled stand opposing recently-passed anti-gay legislation in Russia. The new law prohibits so called ‘gay propaganda’ and has been used to silence dissent in the form of pride events or political demonstrations. Speaking to the Canadian Press on August 1, the Foreign Affairs Minister described the legislation as an “incitement to intolerance, which breeds hate. And intolerance and hate breed violence.”
The team at ProudPolitics is excited to welcome Barbara Hall, the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and former Mayor of Toronto, to our Advisory Council. Barbara has been a lifetime ally of the LGBT community here in Canada and continues to devote her life to fighting discrimination across the province. We are honoured to have someone with Barbara's diverse experience as a public sector leader on our team.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO – June 27, 2013 - In an article on 24 June 2013, Toronto Sun municipal affairs columnist Mike Strobel wrote about the move of his colleague, Sue-Ann Levy, to cover Queen’s Park politics for the newspaper along with columnist Christina Blizzard. In an early version of his article posted online, Strobel wrote the following:
“So Sue-Ann Levy is off to Queen’s Park. May God have mercy on their souls. By the time Levy and Christina Blizzard are done with Kathleen Wynne, the hapless premier will have run screaming back to men.”
This early version of Strobel’s article was publicized by Marc Weisblott, editor of the Canada.com news website, on 25 June 2013. http://o.canada.com/2013/06/25/kathleen-wynne-sue-ann-levy/
Such a joke about Premier Kathleen Wynne’s sexual orientation was out of place, unnecessary, and unbecoming of any media outlet that wishes to be taken seriously. Freedom of the press should be exercised responsibly and not abused to create divisions or belittle public figures over qualities such as sexual orientation, gender, race, or ethnicity. Politicians can be critiqued for their policies and positions, but matters of identity or orientation that have no bearing on public debate should not be used by the press to attack those who choose to enter public service.
ProudPolitics commends the Toronto Sun for editing Strobel’s article to remove the offensive section. However, as a society we should strive to ensure that such ‘jokes’ are not even employed in the first place.
Part of our mission at ProudPolitics is to recruit and equip the next generation of LGBT leaders to campaign and serve to the best of their abilities. Anytime sexual orientation is used to belittle a public figure, it only serves to discourage potential future leaders who may have great contributions to make to our neighbourhoods, schools, cities, provinces, and country.
Let’s all keep our politics and our press civil.
About ProudPolitics Canada
ProudPolitics is Canada’s only multi-partisan LGBT organization aimed at diversifying the face and voice of Canada’s politics by helping emergent openly LGBT leaders realize their potential to serve and win elections to all levels of government through candidate support, fundraising, networking, and outreach.
For more information visit: www.proudpolitics.org
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Deputy Executive Director
Have you ever thought of running for public office? Have you ever considered working on a political campaign? Have you hestitated because of your LGBT identity?
Come join us, starting in June 2013, for a campaign bootcamp series. Register today at www.proudpolitics.org/lead! Space is limited. ProudPolitics is a national multi-partisan organization, all political stripes from across the country are welcome.
ProudPolitics is honoured to receive the 2013 Rainbow Grant from the Community One Foundation. We are extremely humbled by their continued support and faith in our leadership.
The Community One Foundation plays a critical role in our community by providing grants to social innovations that enhance the development of the LGBTTIQQ2S communities in the Greater Toronto Area.
Justin Ling, Xtra.ca, Published on Friday, May 10, 2013
ProudPolitics would like to wish all openly LGBT candidates who are running in the 2013 British Columbia provincial election, the best of luck and success.
Tomorrow, on May 14, polls open around the province from 8 AM to 8 PM PST. We encourage all BC residents to go out and VOTE!
The Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Canada's 1st openly LGBT premier, sends her greetings and support for the launch of ProudPolitics on behalf of the Government of Ontario.
We at ProudPolitics are extremely humbled and grateful to have the continued support of the Premier.
Rainbow Day on the Hill pairs up LGBT high school students who are interested in politics with out MPs for an inside look at Parliament. The students shadow the MPs to meetings, press conferences, question period – whatever may be on the schedule for the day.
In a recent conversation with ProudPolitics, Morin shared some of his experiences being an out politician and talked more about the Rainbow Day initiative.
Toronto Star, Published on Monday January 28, 2013
Marilyn Byers has given countless presentations to young people about equality and homophobia, rattling off names like Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres when telling students about openly gay figures who have done great things.
She plans to add Kathleen Wynne to the list for her next presentation.
After winning the Ontario Liberal leadership this weekend — at a convention that Byers watched in the living room of her Toronto home — Wynne is set to become the province’s first female and first openly gay premier.
Wynne is making history, but emphasized to reporters on Sunday that she isn’t — and doesn’t want to be — a gay activist, because that’s not why she got into politics.
She doesn’t need to be an activist to inspire someone like Byers. An activist herself, Byers has been pushing for equality with PFLAG Canada since her son came out nearly 20 years ago.
“I’m out to make a difference, and that’s what Kathleen did; she made a difference for many, many people,” Byers said.
Many others in Toronto’s LGBT community are celebrating Wynne’s victory, including Arthur Kong, executive director and co-founder of Proud Politics, which works to elect more LGBT leaders in government.
He said she’s an inspiration to LGBT youth, but it’s important that she’s a woman. Wynne’s one of only a handful of openly gay female politicians.
“There’s always this bias toward males in the community, in terms of portrayal in the LGBT community,” Kong said.
“Her and her partner/wife being out in the public, I think, will encourage more young women who are labelled as LGBT … to step out and take on leadership roles, in whatever capacity that they are in.”
Neil Thomlinson, who teaches in Ryerson University’s politics and public administration department, suggested that a lack of female, openly gay politicians may have something to do with an inequality that female politicians continue to fight.
Though progress has been made — Wynne will become the sixth woman currently running a province or territory once she’s sworn in — some women in politics still face different treatment than men, he said.
History aside, Thomlinson hopes people stop talking about Wynne’s sexual orientation soon.
Glen Murray, the openly gay Toronto Centre MPP who ran against Wynne in the leadership contest before backing out to support her, hopes the same.
Wynne was elected for her political skills, ideas and integrity. Her sexual orientation, he said, is irrelevant.
“It just doesn’t matter anymore, no one cares,” Murray said.
But it does matter to some.
“It matters to minorities and young gay kids who are subjected to bullying,” said George Smitherman, who was Ontario’s first openly gay MPP.
It matters to Ryan Tollofson, at least in the short term. The Ontario Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce president was on the delegate floor when Wynne won and thanked her spouse for supporting her campaign.
“You no longer have to edit those parts of your life if you want to be involved in politics,” Tollofson said.
And it definitely matters to Byers, who compares to Wynne to U.S. President Barack Obama for being “someone who is not shy to say who they are.”
“Every step forward is positive.”
With files from Robert Benzie and Rob Ferguson.