Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NOM accused of distorting controversy in Canada

Looks like the National Organization for Marriage may have just made a major boo-boo in Canada. From CTV News in Canada:

The head of Vancouver's School Board and a city councillor claim two other school board trustees used the U.S. group National Organization for Marriage to attack the board's anti-homophobia policies.

Board chair Patti Bacchus and Councillor Tim Stevenson say they want an apology after two disturbing videos recently surfaced, raising questions about the conduct of trustees Ken Denike and Sophia Woo.

Denike agrees he spoke out about the booklet because parents should be concerned, but said he was misled about the interview and had no idea it would be featured on the group's website.

Deinke also said that he is consulting with lawyers to get the video removed. But it appears that Deinke - and Woo - are in a huge amount of trouble over this

 According to a gay newspaper in Canada, Xtra:

“Trustee Denike and Trustee Woo do not speak for the Vancouver School Board," Bacchus says. "I am the spokesperson for the board."

Bacchus calls the anti-marriage website "offensive."

"I fear it does stoke some of the ignorance and negativity that we have been working so hard to combat," she says. "This just takes us absolutely in the wrong direction."

“It’s created damage that is reverberating,” Bacchus says. “They are elected officials, and they are accountable for their use of Vancouver school property for this video. We will be discussing it with trustees.”

The original controversy in question had nothing to do with marriage equality. According to Jeremy Hooper from Goodasyou.org:

A Canadian organization called Out In Schools issued booklets that encourage students to reject homophobia, accept their gay peers, and work to minimize threats on a number of fronts. As part of this project, Out in Schools provided resource links to Health Initiatives For Men, another organization focused on gay men's health and well-being. After a period of time, this HIM website, unbeknownst to the Out in Schools folks, created a semi-racy video campaign that was meant to target older, sexually-active gay men. A couple of administrators caught note of this more adult outreach effort and began casting public aspersions against the entire project.

  . . .  When Out In Schools learned of the HIM website changes, they willingly removed the prior links in both the print and web materials. In fact, the project's director has embraced the raised kerfuffle, saying it gives him a chance to show all of the good that the project is doing. He didn't raise a fist of noncompliance. He certainly didn't "defame." He listened and responded to concerns.

In spite of all of this, NOM distorted the situation and featured it as a part of it's ridiculous Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance, i.e. claiming that this was a case in which gays were "defaming" Christians."

The complaints about NOM's actions speak for themselves in terms of just who is doing the defaming.

Hat tip to Think Progress and Towleroad.

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Cosmio said...

i really hope that these two lost their positions over this and we can point at NOM and say they lost their positions because of you!

Mykelb said...

Canadians do not play around with their human rights. Maggie may one day be facing extradition charges to Canada. GOOD!