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Gender identity event moved to new venue over security concern: organizer

Last Updated Nov 2, 2019 at 7:23 am PDT

A gender identity talk featuring controversial writer, Meghan Murphy, is taking place Saturday, but the venue of the event has changed because of "safety concerns." SOURCE: Meghan Murphy/feministcurrent.com

A gender identity talk featuring controversial writer, Meghan Murphy, is taking place Saturday

The location of the event has changed over possible security risks

The speaker is known for denying the existence of transgender people

VANCOUVER — The organizer of a panel discussion on gender and sexuality says the location of the event in Vancouver has been changed over possible security risks because of the views of a featured speaker who drew protests at a Toronto library this week.

Prof. Mark Collard of Simon Fraser University says the senior director of campus security assessed a high safety concern for the event that was set to take place on Saturday.

Collard, who teaches human evolutionary studies, says he’s been planning the event that includes Meghan Murphy since the spring and ticket holders will be emailed a few hours before Saturday’s talk with details of the new location.

Murphy, a freelance writer, has said the acceptance of trans rights threaten women’s rights and that people who are born male remain male for life so can’t understand women’s experiences.

Several hundred protesters gathered Tuesday evening outside a Toronto library hosting an event that featured Murphy.

A number of prominent authors and many in the LGBTQ2 community had called on the Toronto Public Library to cancel the talk, but the library allowed the event to continue, citing the right to free speech.

Collard said Friday the security director, Tim Marron, discussed protest plans in Vancouver with two groups, one called Out on Campus, which supports LGBTQ students, and the Coalition Against Trans Antagonism, which was considered a threat.

The coalition’s Tami Starlight says members of the group had planned to chant loudly.

Marron says he couldn’t discuss any security issues and the university did not immediately respond to a request for comment.