Friday, September 30, 2011

Canadian newspaper apologizes for anti-transgender ad

| »

I don’t say this often, but I really am glad to live in a place as boring as Canada. The whole reason why it’s so politically uninteresting (at least to me) is because kooks and bigots just don’t get much traction here. And here’s a great example: Yesterday, the conservative paper National Post ran this horrible ad from our equivalent to the U.S.’s American Family Association, the egregiously misnamed Institute for Canadian Values:

Anti-transgender ad from Institute for Canadian Values: Picture of young girl titled “PLEASE! Don’t Confuse Me” “I’M A GIRL. Don’t teach me to question if I’m a boy, transexual, transgendered, intersexed or two spirited” “Mr. Premier, you promised to remove this from my classroom but my teachers are still being forced to teach your curriculum. / My mommy says she is not allowed to withdraw me from class. You are forcing her to. / Mr. McGunty, Mr. Hudak and Ms. Horwath, please tell me you will stop teachers from confusing me.”

Well, duh, you say. A conservative newspaper publishing anti-LGBT material? Is water still wet, too? To which I reply, our water is frozen solid for six months of the year, and also, you should remember that even Canadian conservatives make most U.S. liberals look like Rush Limbaugh by comparison. Case in point: The Post has published a retraction and apology:

Earlier this week the National Post ran an advertisement that has caused some controversy. The ad, bought by the Institute for Canadian Values, argued against aspects of the Ontario school curriculum that include instruction about certain aspects of human sexuality. Specifically, it objected to teaching young children — those between junior kindergarten and Grade 3 — about transsexual/transgender/intersexed/two spirited issues.

The National Post has procedures in place for vetting the content of advertising, especially advocacy advertising. The procedures are intended to ensure that such ads meet a standard of tone and respect that is consistent with furthering constructive dialogue about important public policy issues.

In this case, those procedures were not followed. An ad that should not have run in its proposed form was allowed to run.

This ad will not run in the National Post again.

The piece seems to hedge a bit regarding trans issues, saying it’s a matter of public debate (because rights should be voted on?), but as it concludes:

The Post will also be donating the proceeds from the advertisement to an organization that promotes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.

That’s right: Even our right-wing publications are more LGBT-friendly than most Lefty U.S. media outlets. Pinch me, I like it here.

(via Joe. My. God.)

Edit: 10/02/11 12:40 PM – Minor phrasing edit.