Those that received this unsolicited email are asking themselves how their names got onto the list of a party that has been nothing short of hostile towards their community. And while many people are talking about the use of micro-targeting and what constitutes a violation of our privacy, I think there is a much larger issue here.
This government (who in addition to this email has been extolling its foreign policy work on this issue in speeches, for example Minister Baird’s recent speech at the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations Luncheon) is now trying to sell itself as a great defender of gays and lesbians abroad. And yet in contrast, at home, the Conservatives have consistently tried to undermine the equality rights of the LGBTTQ community. From trying to roll-back same-sex marriage as one of their first orders of business when first elected in 2006, to removing (and having to be shamed into re-adding) a mention of gay rights from the “Discover Canada” booklet for new immigrants, to cutting funding for Toronto Pride, to allowing Bill C-32, which makes changes to allow non-resident same-sex couples that were married in Canada to divorce, to languish for months on end, this government’s record on LGBTTQ issues is nothing short of shameful. In addition, we will not soon forget the hurtful and inflammatory statements against gays and lesbians made both inside and outside Parliament by Conservative members, including several who are now cabinet ministers.
The queer community is right to question the Conservatives’ sincerity when it comes to issues affecting them and we should be resolute in calling them out on their hypocrisy.
The Canadian government should be a leader on the world stage in the fight to combat discrimination against LGBTTQ persons, but it must be equally resolute in its work to ensure LGBTTQ equality here in Canada.
Dr. Hedy Fry
Liberal Health Critic
MP, Vancouver Centre