Municipal institutions need to add an anti-discrimination clause to facility rental policies

The Toronto Public Library did this in 2017 and it is helping.

Image result for Does trans activism negatively impact women's rights?

advertisement for anti-transgender event featuring Meghan Murphy in Kitchener, ON
“Does Trans Activism Negatively Impact Women’s Rights?”

The original event booking at Wilfred Laurier University was cancelled, moving it to an Auto Parts dealer.

I spoke at the Vancouver public library tonight about their room and facilities rental policy. I shared with them about how I’d like to see our public libraries curate safe and inclusive spaces free of supremacist groups that incite explicitly prohibited discrimination, as is the responsibility of all our public institutions. I asked the board that they implement an exclusion policy similar to the policy adopted by Toronto Public Library, which disqualifies all groups that incite discrimination on prohibited grounds.

Material inciting discrimination on prohibited grounds has featured prominently in British Columbia events:

  • at the Vancouver Public Library – against transgender women;
  • the Chilliwack Evergreen Hall – against Lesbians, gays, transgender, and bisexual children;
  • the Campbell River Sportsplex
    – against Lesbians, gays, transgender, and bisexual children;
  • the Duncan, BC Island Savings Centre
    – against Lesbians, gays, transgender, and bisexual children; ;
  • the Nanaimo Beban Park Recreation Centre
    – against Lesbians, gays, transgender, and bisexual children; ;
  • the Oak Bay Windsor Pavilion  (May 2) –
    – against Lesbians, gays, transgender, and bisexual children;
  • the Vancouver Croatian Cultural Centre – against transgender children,
  • the Helenic Community (centre) – against people who are not White.
The Erosion of Freedom tour

” Protections afforded to Canadians by the Charter of Rights, such as freedom of expression or of religion, do not give an unlimited license to act in a discriminatory way against others on the basis of explicitly-prohibited grounds.”

Morgane Oger Foundation press release on Oger v Whatcott human rights decision

April 30: Surrey teachers union passes a resolution asking that the City of Surrey and Surrey School prohibit hatred when renting facilities

I specifically asked that the Vancouver Public Library to follow the example of the Toronto Public Library and reserve the right to deny or cancel a booking as follows when it reasonably believes use by any individual or group will be for a purpose that is likely to promote, or would have the effect of promoting discrimination, contempt or hatred for any group or person on the basis of prohibited grounds.


Event poster advertising a 2018 Culture Guard event inciting hatred against transgender people

In March 2019, the BC Human Rights Tribunal ruled that inciting discrimination on a prohibited ground of gender identity was prohibited by section 7 of the BC Human Rights Code in my complaint about discriminatory flyers published by Bill Whatcott.



Event poster advertizing a March 15 2019 event featuring white-supremacist Laura Southern, which was cancelled by the Hellenic Community of Vancouver.

Like too many publicly-owned venues, Vancouver Public Library has no policy that meaningfully addresses the incitement of discrimination on prohibited grounds and it is long overdue that they resolve the situation.

On January 10 2019 Meghan Murphy organized a public event at the Vancouver Public Library centered on her advocating for excluding women who are transgender from spaces for women or services for women. This is prohibited discrimination. The Vancouver Public Library, like any other organizing making space available to the public for rental, should not be enabling organizations or organizations to advocate for discrimination on prohibited grounds.

Advertisement for January 2019 Feminist Current “Gender Identity Ideology and Women’s Rights” event focused on inciting discrimination against transgender women. Murphy has been permanently banned from Facebook for harassing transgender women and is currently suing them over this.

I urge municipal and other venues offering space for rent to the public to implement meaningful policies similar to the policies implemented at Toronto Public Library in 2017 to stop the incitement of discrimination on prohibited grounds.


2017 Toronto Public Library policy addressing promotion of discrimination, contempt or hatred for any group or person

Toronto Public Library 2017 Policy Revision: COMMUNITY AND EVENT SPACE RENTAL

In December 2017, Toronto Public Library updated its policies on the basis of legal advice following a series of bookings related to white supremacists.

4 Denial of Use

When making the Library’s Community Space Rentals available for use, the Library is committed to ensuring the dignity and safety of the public and staff without disruption to Library services, and to maintaining the security of Library property.

a) The Library reserves the right to deny or cancel a booking as follows when it reasonably believes:

i. use by any individual or group will be for a purpose that is likely to promote, or would have the effect of promoting discrimination, contempt or hatred for any group or person on the basis of race, ethnic origin, place of origin, citizenship, colour, ancestry, language, creed (religion), age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, membership in a union or staff association, receipt of public assistance, level of literacy or any other similar factor;

ii. use by any individual or group will be denied for a purpose or action, in the Library’s opinion, that is contrary to the law or any of the Library’s policies or Rules of Conduct, including violent, threatening, abusive, harassing, disruptive or intrusive language or conduct;

iii. use will be denied when there is deemed to be a misrepresentation, a likelihood of physical hazard to participants or audiences or a misuse of premises or equipment. Past misuse or non-payment of fees is sufficient grounds for denial of an application;

iv. use will be denied to by individuals, clubs, groups and organizations intending is intended to establish the Library as a permanent location for their activities, including establishing offices in Library meeting rooms;

v. use will include gaming or games of chance, including bingo and lotteries


Click below to read the full Toronto Public Library community and event space rental policy:

https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/content/about-the-library/pdfs/board/meetings/2017/dec11/04-community-and-event-space-rental-policy-revisions-combined.pdf

2 thoughts on “Municipal institutions need to add an anti-discrimination clause to facility rental policies

  1. after 35 years of voting ndp, sometimes donating & volunteering – you can now kiss my womanly butt good-bye & if you need donations GET THEM from HIM^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^6

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.