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BC Liberals reviewing policy after advertising in social conservative magazine

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The B.C. Liberals are reviewing their advertising policies after MLAs spent taxpayer money to place holiday greetings in a free monthly Christian lifestyle magazine widely known for its anti-LGBTQ2 content. Ted Chernecki reports – Jun 30, 2020

The B.C. Liberals are reviewing their advertising spending after placing holiday greetings in a free monthly magazine that publishes articles widely seen as anti-LGBTQ2.

“There is no room in the BC Liberal Party for homophobia, transphobia, or any other form of discrimination,” B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson tweeted.

“Going forward, we are taking immediate steps to ensure our advertising decisions reflect those values at all times.”

Wilkinson’s comment comes a day after Press Progress, an independent news organization founded by the left-wing Broadbent Institute, published a story about the ads, which appeared in The Light, a free monthly Christian lifestyle magazine.

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The BC Liberal caucus spent $503 on the ad, which was a Thanksgiving greeting, in The Light’s October 2019 issue. The party has also paid for a group advertisement in the magazine for Easter.

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“That MLA colleagues who I thought I had good relationships with would spend thousands of dollars supporting a magazine that is actively homophobic, and that campaigns against mine and families like mine’s existence is deeply troubling,” NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert said.

The magazine has published multiple editorials opposed to SOGI 123, a provincially-supported program to help educators make schools inclusive and safe for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

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The publication has also published editorials in support of conversion therapy.

The B.C. government supports federal legislation to ban conversion therapy, which the federal Liberal Party’s 2019 platform described as “a scientifically discredited practice that targets vulnerable LGBTQ2 Canadians in an attempt to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

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Todd Stone, BC Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, apologized for ad dollars from his office budget being used to co-sponsor ads in The Light, saying the magazine that does not align with his personal beliefs.

“I do not support anything that discriminates against anyone, and I believe in a safe, inclusive B.C. for everyone. I am a long-time supporter of the LGBTQ community in Kamloops & across the province. I’ve always tried to lead by example and advance acceptance and inclusivity.

“My office will no longer be advertising in the Light Magazine, and we are reviewing all of our office advertising decisions to ensure publications are consistent with my values moving forward.”

— With files from Emerald Bensadoun