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