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Vancouver School Board Members Appearance in NOM Video Angers Officials: VIDEO


Two Vancouver school board members are under fire for appearing in NOM videos decrying the school district's Out in Schools anti-bullying program over a 2006 booklet, since corrected, which led readers to an explicit Men's Health website. The board members say their participation in the NOM video was misrepresented to them, CTV reports:

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.

"I was surprised to see it show up there, where it's basically an advertisement which seems to be promoting people to send in money to anti-marriage between two adult males, females, whatever, which is legal in Canada."

Denike claims he didn't know how NOM planned to use his video interview and is in the process of lawyering up.

Denike tells Xtra that the video's creator told them it was for a news program when it was filmed. He says he was surprised when the video turned up on the anti-gay-marriage site. He says he has contacted a lawyer to have it removed.

"It's inappropriate," Denike says. "It has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. It was strictly in order to indicate to the board that they were responsible for oversight."

The video is part of NOM's Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance.


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  1. Desperate, Shameless, Bigots.

    Posted by: John Normile | Dec 19, 2011 2:16:56 PM

  2. What a surprise that such good Christians would resort to such tactics!

    Posted by: Frank | Dec 19, 2011 2:58:09 PM

  3. Better yet, these two should be removed from the board. Plain and simple.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Dec 19, 2011 3:18:53 PM

  4. the last thing NOM wants to be doing is reminding any Americans that Canada exists. You know, Canada. The country where slaves escaped to. The country that didn't enter the Vietnam war. The country that has allowed LGBT citizens to serve openly in the military since 1992. The country that has legalized marriage equality in every province and territory. The country with the lower crime and violence rates.

    seriously, NOM. you don't wanna talk about Canada. it'll only prove you all wrong.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 19, 2011 3:28:54 PM

  5. The facts are:

    The booklet in question was a booklet for teachers (NOT for students). The booklet referred to a website that AT THE TIME of publication had age-appropriate resources.

    When the website later changed into a website geared toward sexual advice for adults, it was removed from the booklet.
    (Being upset over this would be akin to being upset that with a school board because a raunchy cartoon is being shown tonight on CBS at 9 pm when just three years ago that school board had recommended that teachers watch a historical documentary that had shown on CBS at 9 pm).

    The "concerned" parents are mostly people who barely speak English and have a hard time understanding that none of the videos on that website have anything to do with anything that is planned to be presented to kids in any classroom.

    Ken Denike and Sophia Woo have said to the "concerned" parents that what is on that website now is not suitable for presentation to 13-year-olds, but that's just stating the obvious since no one involved has disagreed(thus why web address in question is NOT included on the list teachers are currently reading).

    Ken Denike says (not surprisingly) that he has contacted a lawyer because he was misled by NOM and his comments to them have been taken completely out of context.

    Posted by: GregV | Dec 19, 2011 5:57:08 PM

  6. Why is he calling a lawyer? His anti-gay agenda has been exposed? The NOM video isn't the first time he's spoken out against anti-bullying measures. He's just sorry he got caught.


    He's on Twitter (@ubcken) and he tweeted a picture of himself at an event where he's standing next to one of the "concerned" parents who appears in the NOM video. He new exactly what he was doing when the video was shot, he just doesn't have the balls to admit it.

    Posted by: Markles | Dec 19, 2011 6:54:00 PM

  7. Oops. He knew, too.

    Posted by: Markles | Dec 19, 2011 8:28:40 PM

  8. Markles: Thanks for the link. It does appear that Denike was misled by NOM as he says, but if Denike and Woo both attended this Cantonese anti-gay group's picnic and made the statements quoted, this is very disappointing.
    I don't think he's anti-gay; I just think he's ignorant about the issue of homophobia and makes ill-considered statements that fan the flames of those who are anti-gay.
    After reading your link, I've already spoken to friends in Vancouver who actually voted for Denike and Woo last month who are very disappointed not to have had this exposed before the election.
    Vancouver lost its only gay school trustee in that election, and only just over 1% of Woo's supporters would have needed to change their minds for her to have lost.
    I think well over that number have probably already reconsidered their support for her.
    In spite of these two, Vancouver has strong support in its schools for anti-bullying policies that include everyone. But parents who misunderstand gay people always latch onto such statements to justify their bigotry.

    Posted by: GregV | Dec 19, 2011 8:58:08 PM

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