Friday, June 14, 2024

BC Conservative by-election candidate called out for transphobic behaviour


On Thursday, June 22nd, the candidates from the BC NDP and Green Parties joined forces to release a joint statement denouncing a BC Conservative MLA candidate for blatant transphobic policy and making transphobic comments online.

Karin Litzcke is running for a seat at the Legislature in the upcoming by-election for the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant electoral district. 

Recently, a situation came to her attention that in Kelowna a young girl was screamed at by two adults who were questioning her gender and whether or not she should be participating in a girls’ sporting event. 

The man and his wife who were questioning the little girl’s gender demanded officials “check her certificate” and make sure she was a girl by checking her genitals. 

On Twitter, Litzcke commented on the traumatic event, saying, “Of course confronting children or parents directly is not optimal; a quiet query to organizers & polite response would do. That said, this kind of tension arises when societal trust is eroded by glorifying dishonesty.”

She was called out in the comment section for making excuses for those responsible for harassing the young girl and suggesting transgender people are “glorifying dishonesty.”

Following this transphobic comment, on June 1st, Litzcke put out an official release with the Conservative Party of British Columbia calling for a “ban on biological men participating in women and girls’ competitive sports.” 

The motion was supported by BC Conservative leader, John Rustad.

“Women and girls deserve to have their own spaces. Womens’ sports should be fair and safe, that can’t happen when women are forced to compete against men who have biological advantages,” said Litzcke in a statement, which is no longer on the Conservative Party of BC’s website, but is on her official Twitter account. 

“I’m proud to support Karin in fighting for fairness for BC’s women and girls,” said Rustad, in support of Litzcke’s transphobic rhetoric. 

“This is common sense, and I’m going to be taking action on this as soon as the Legislature re-opens,” the party leader continued. 

In light of this transphobic policy being announced by Litzcke and Rustad, the BC NDPs and BC Green Party’s candidates for the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant electoral district made a joint statement in opposition to the comments made and the policy the party is suggesting. 

“We are taking the unusual step of issuing a joint statement to condemn the transphobic policy and comments from Vancouver-Mount Pleasant Conservative candidate Karin Litzcke, which were repeated and supported by Conservative Leader John Rustad,” said BC NDP candidate, Joan Phillip and BC Green Party candidate, Wendy Hayko. 

“We have recently seen how this discriminatory rhetoric has real impacts on our children and our community. There is no justification for yelling at someone and making them feel like they don’t belong, no matter their gender. At the root of this awful behaviour is hurtful and divisive rhetoric like that expressed by Karen Litzcke during this by-election.”

The two candidates say that everyone deserves to have their gender identity, name and pronouns affirmed and respected. 

In their eyes, everyone in BC, including trans children, should have the right to use whatever bathroom they feel comfortable using and to compete in sports with those who share their same gender identity. 

“Any attempt to divide our communities and families on this issue is nothing short of reprehensible,” they continued.

Hayko and Phillip concluded by acknowledging that although their parties disagree on many policies, they are united in their views surrounding human rights, gender identity and creating safe environments for 2SLGBTQI+ British Columbians. 

Advance polling for the by-election opened on June 16th, but the general election won’t take place until Saturday, June 24th.  

Curtis Blandy

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