Vancouver Public Library barred from marching in this year's Pride parade

Jul 23 2019, 5:07 pm

The Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) is rescinding the Vancouver Public Library’s (VPL) entry into this year’s Pride Parade due to “their decision to provide a platform for homophobic hate speech.”

The VPS says the VPL  allowed “transphobic speaker Meghan Murphy to book space for an event that undermined the dignity of trans women.”

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This decision comes weeks after the VPS barred UBC from marching in the 2019 Parade after anti-SOGI activist Jenn Smith gave a talk at the school in June.

In a release, the VPS says that LGBTQAI2S+ community members and allies “raised concerns” to the VPL before and after the January 2019 event.

On April 24, 2019, the VPS attended a meeting with community organizations and the VPL to “address these concerns.”

Following this, the VPS says it signed a joint letter written by the Coalition Against Trans Antagonism, which “outlined concerns with the current rental policy.”

On July 15, the VPS sent a follow-up letter to the VPL informing  them that the “lack of change to current policies would preclude them from participating in the 2019 Pride Parade if they were not addressed to prior to August.”

“The VPL declined to make changes prior to the Pride Parade,” said the VPS.

Andrea Arnot, VPS executive director, says that following the UBC decision “several people told [them] to keep the politics out of Pride.”

“Pride was born from resistance led by trans women of colour. Pride has always been political.”

VPS says that individual LGBTQAI2S+ and allied employees of the VPL still have the choice to march in the parade with the City of Vancouver or with their union CUPE 391.

“We honour our roots and the spirit of Pride by taking a strong stance against discrimination,” said Arnot. “Even when, especially when, the stance is unpopular.”