VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Outrage is growing along with support to have a director of AutismBC removed from her post after an exclusive NEWS 1130 report found she attended an anti-SOGI rally in Surrey last week, after the election.
A petition asking for Surrey Coun. Laurie Guerra to be removed as director has gathered nearly 1,000 signatures. Many signing the petition say AutismBC can’t be inclusive of autistic people without also including LGBTQ people, especially because some people are on both spectrums.
— Lauren Boothby (@laurby) November 12, 2018
Margaux Wosk who is autistic and an activist was angry after she learned Guerra attended the meeting for anti-SOGI politicians, volunteers and donors. She says AutismBC needs to be sure they’re representing and supporting everyone in the autism community.
“There are a lot of people who are autistic and are part of the LGBTQ2+ community. To separate the two, and to think that oh, you can be for one but not for the other — what are you teaching children?” she says. “How is that inclusion? How is that diversity? You need to have both.”
Others commenting on the petition expressed similar views.
“I feel that inclusion includes everyone!” writes Kris Ang.
“I am a queer autistic woman, and there is no place in our community for anything other than solidarity with queer and trans people,” writes Erin Ekins.
“You cannot simultaneously support and subjugate special needs children. Autism BC deserves better than the likes of her,” writes Wendy Baskin.
Others have been posting negative reviews on AutismBC’s Facebook.
As an autistic blogger and activist in your community, I am so disgusted and so disheartened by Laurie's disgusting…
The organization is responding on social media with a statement from president Gary Robins, saying that the “views and opinions made by directors and staff of AutismBC do not necessarily reflect the views of AutismBC.”
Meanwhile, Guerra appears to have responded to NEWS 1130’s story on her Facebook page.
“After only 3 days in office I finally get what the term “fake news” means…,” she writes.
Councillor Laurie Guerra appears to be accusing me of creating “fake news” and lying after I reported she attended an anti-SOGI meeting. I took video, photos, and audio at the event, and took notes. pic.twitter.com/N3PJigIXlu
— Lauren Boothby (@laurby) November 11, 2018
Guerra was seen by this reporter at the anti-SOGI event, photographed, captured on video, and her speech was recorded on two different audio recording devices.
Surrey Coun. Steven Pettigrew was also at the anti-SOGI meeting last week.
WATCH: Surrey councillors attend anti-SOGI meeting