Feminist speaker considered "anti-trans" by critics to speak at Vancouver Public Library Thursday – BC


Protesters gathered outside the Vancouver Public Library headquarters (VPL) on Thursday, as opposed to a controversial speaker who critics say is "anti-trans."

Self-described radical feminist Meghan Murphy, founder of online publication Feminist Current, is giving a talk on a discussion on "ideology of gender identity and women's rights."

Murphy was permanently banned from Twitter, supposedly by questioning whether people can change their biological sex, and argued that "men are not women."

Trans's advocates want VPL to undo the event with controversial feminists

These positions have attracted the condemnation of LGBTQ groups and supporters who labeled her TERF (trans-exclusive radical feminist), and who argue that her views do not take place in a public library.

Protesters from the Coalition Against Antagonism group Transcribe that the content of the event "promotes fear, discrimination and hatred against transgender people and sex workers."

ASSIST: Protests about the planned appearance of self-proclaimed "feminist"

The Library's refusal to cancel the event, they argue, "demonstrates [its] complicity with those who advocate hate speech – under the guise of feminism – and, specifically, hatred against transgender people and sex workers.

Murphy, meanwhile, says the event is sold out, indicating public interest in his views.

"Despite the bullying of trans activists who have gone to great lengths to cancel the event and engage in abominable and startling slanders against the speakers and participants, this event is still happening," she posted on her Facebook page on Thursday .

READ MORE: Senate Approves Bill C-16, Defending Transgender Rights

"What is clear is that people want to have this conversation and will not be intimidated into silence."

VPL's chief librarian Christina de Castell initially agreed to an on-camera interview but canceled when Global News refused to provide questions in advance – a violation of her journalistic principles and practices.

Instead, the NPV released a statement, writing: "This is an incredibly difficult situation and that public libraries face every day."

In an earlier statement, Castell said that NPV has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not agree with Feminist chain but is committed to freedom of expression and intellectual freedom, and that the library had no position to cancel the event.

It is a position supported by the BC Civil Liberties Association, which argued that libraries should not moderate political opinions.

READ MORE: "There is no room for discrimination," says Minister of Education, school groups, amid dueling SOGI protests

"The library is doing the right thing here," said Michael Vonn, chief policy officer at BCCLA.

"His mandate is intellectual freedom and this includes very controversial topics."

Opponents of the event marked the protest at 8:30 p.m. Murphy's speech is scheduled for 9:30 p.m.

– With files by Robin Gill

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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