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Pride groups call for removal of B.C. Liberal candidate in Chilliwack over LGBTQ views

Last Updated Oct 1, 2020 at 2:13 pm PDT

Summary

Several groups and residents are demanding the B.C. Liberals boot their candidate in Chilliwack-Kent

Groups, including the Chilliwack Pride Society, are calling out Laurie Throness for 'defending conversion therapy'

Throness has been criticized after advertising in a publication that supports homophobic and transphobic ideologies

CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) – B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson is being asked to drop Laurie Throness as one of his candidates in the upcoming provincial election.

An open letter signed by the Board of Chilliwack Pride Society, the Tri-Cities Pride Society, members of the Chilliwack Metis Association, and other groups and residents says they’re “deeply disappointed that” Throness remains in the party.

“We represent a wide section of people in British Columbia who advocate for and promote safe, positive, and welcoming communities for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities,” the letter starts. “We have come together to write to you to express our disappointment with the space you continue to provide for homophobia and transphobia in your party.”

Throness, who’s running for re-election in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent, has been at the centre of controversy this year after advertising in a publication that supports homophobic and transphobic ideologies.

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“In recent months, Laurie Throness has publicly defended conversion therapy, which causes harm and trauma to LGBTQ+ children and youth,” the letter reads. “Conversion therapy is a dangerous practice with no basis in science, and it costs lives.”

Wilkinson has said that discrimination has no place in his party. However, the letter calls on him to back up his statements with actions by removing Throness by Friday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m.

Throness here to stay 

Despite calls to oust Throness, Wilkinson claims all party candidates agree that any discrimination is unacceptable.

“In our British Columbia Liberal Party and in this province as a whole, there is no room for discrimination based on age or gender, sexual orientation, religion, income, race, place of origin. It is not right and it’s not acceptable, and that is where this party stands and that’s where all of our candidates stand,” Wilkinson says.

He says concerns over Throness advertising in a homophobic and transphobic publication were dealt with this year.

But Wilkinson did not say Throness has changed his views, which have included supporting conversion therapy.

Earlier this week, an NDP candidate called for Wilkinson to fire the Liberal candidate in Langley East after she voted against a rainbow crosswalk in her capacity as city councillor the same day she was appointed by the party.