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Lesbian Couple, Supporters Protest Ejection from Tim Hortons: VIDEO

Hortoncouple

Appproximately 20 people showed up to protest an incident that took place three weeks ago at a Tim Hortons restaurant in Blenheim, Ontario in which a lesbian couple was ejected from the restaurant for what they say was an innocent display of affection.

HortonThe couple was reportedly booted from the restaurant after complaints from a local pastor who was dining there. The pastor formed a prayer circle in the restaurant's parking lot as the couple left.

There has been some controversy over the protest. Sarah Fraleigh, the former president of Chatham-Kent Pride, said she would not attend the sit-in Thursday afternoon, and CK Pride has refused to support the protest. The PRride group has been accused of cowing to rampant homophobia in the area and not supporting the protest over concern that ties it has to local businesses would be broken.

Watch local videographer DanAge's report on the protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

And watch a CBC report, HERE.

Continue reading "Lesbian Couple, Supporters Protest Ejection from Tim Hortons: VIDEO" »


Protest Planned After Canadian Tim Hortons Kicks Out Lesbian Couple

Dozens are reportedly planning to protest an incident that took place three weeks ago at a Tim Hortons restaurant in Blenheim, Ontario in whcih a lesbian couple was ejected from the restaurant for what they say was an innocent display of affection.

HortonsRiley Duckworth, 25, of London, and her partner Patricia Pattenden, 23 are not accepting an apology from the restaurant chain, the Globe & Mail reports.

Ms. Duckworth says she and her partner were outside drinking coffee with a group of family and friends and saw a man watching them from inside the restaurant.  She says soon after, the man went up to the counter, and a few minutes later the assistant manager came out and asked the couple to stop doing what they were doing and leave.

Ms. Duckworth says her partner had her hand around her waist, and had kissed her on the cheek once or twice but she denies they were groping each other.

“The manager said that our behaviour was inappropriate and that it was a family friendly establishment and it wasn't acceptable there,” Ms. Duckworth said. “We would need to leave within five minutes or the cops would be called,” she said they were told.

TimhortonsDuckworth and Pattenden say that as they departed this happened:

As the couple left, the pastor at a local church allegedly held a prayer circle with more than a dozen people in the parking lot to “pray for the couple's souls,” Ms. Duckworth said.

Tim Hortons released a statement earlier this week:

"The guests' behaviour went beyond public displays of affection and was making other guests feel uncomfortable. The management has apologized to Riley and Patricia and invite them back to their restaurant. We apologize if (they) were offended by the misunderstanding that occurred at our Blenheim restaurant last month on behalf of the owners and management. It was not the manager's intention to offend or target anyone based on their sexual orientation."

The planned protest has a Facebook page with almost 1,000 'Likes'.

It also has a dedicated page on the Kijiji website describing the incident.

Tim Hortons has been in trouble with gay activists in the past in the U.S. for its sponsorship of a National Organization for Marriage event opposing same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. The chain pulled out of the event after activists objected.


Campaign for Premier Job in Ontario, Canada Gets Homophobic

Hudak

Canadian Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak, campaigning for Ontario's top job, is under fire for a homophobic campaign flyer that misleads voters about the education curriculum in place under Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty.

The Globe and Mail reports:

The Tories are quoting from a Toronto District School Board curriculum guideline that says, "Sending a school newsletter home at the beginning of each term is a best practice for keeping parents informed of all upcoming equity topics in the classroom."

Still, the PC flyer warns parents against classrooms that would introduce concepts such as “cross dressing for six year olds” and “reclaiming Valentine’s Day [by celebrating] sexual diversity with a kissing booth.”

The statements aren't based on what was proposed, however. The Valentine's Day example was an idea to give chocolates to students who complete a "school climate" survey. As for cross-dressing, the Liberals said "there is no such thing." The page cited in the PC flyer is a list of "Significant International" gay and lesbian individuals, including Ellen Degeneres, Rosie O'Donnell, Virginia Woolf and Harvey Milk.

Other candidates associated with the flyer are running from it, literally.


Transgender Worker Told to Get Off Premises of 'Family Friendly' Farmer's Market in Ontario, Canada

A transgender worker for True2You, a candle and incense vendor at Trail's End Farmer's Market in London, Ontario, was disturbing the "family friendly atmosphere" there according to the market's owner and would not be allowed back on the premises.

Trailsend True2You owner Karen Clarke tells AM890 she got a call from one of the market's managers:

"Everything was fine when I left and it wasn't until five to 8 on Saturday night that I got a call from the management at Trails End. Basically they said if I was going to have those people there anymore I'm invited to take my business elsewhere....He said it made everyone uncomfortable and it just wasn't right. This is a family place, a family market and this just isn't right. I just kept insisting what happened that was wrong and he said you walk up to the person and they're dressed like a woman and they've got big hands, a deep voice and tattoos and it's just not right. It's just not a family place he kept repeating that over and over again. And I kept trying to get from him what was wrong, what was so not right, what was it that people were complaining about and there was no details forthcoming that way. He called them 'those people' several times."

Said the market's owner Ed Kikkert: "Why would I be discriminating? I'm not discriminating at all. I'm just asking which washroom would they use? How can you go into a men's washroom dressed as a lady, how can you go into ladies washroom when you're a man. That's the difficulty I have. It's not discriminating at all. The issue is at hand."

A complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission has been filed.


Halton Catholic School Board Lifts Ban on 'Gay-Straight Alliances', But Resists Allowing Them to be Called That

Halton

The ban on Gay-Straight alliances at Halton Catholic School, where controversy erupted earlier this year after board chair Alice Anne LeMay (pictured, below) compared GSAs to Nazi groups, has been lifted, Xtra reports

Lemay In a 6-2 vote, trustees have decided to rescind the ban and shelve the equity and inclusive education policy. While a new policy is drafted, the board will use the Catholic “template." The template is a version of Ontario’s equity policy that’s written specifically for English Catholic boards by the Ontario Education Services Corporation.

When asked by Xtra whether the board will allow groups to be called gay-straight alliance clubs, board chair Alice Anne LeMay refused to answer the question.

“I can’t answer that tonight, the policy will go to senior administration and will be implemented in the schools,” she says.

The Spec.com is reporting that the vote was 8-2.

Students and activists are demanding that the groups be called Gay-Straight Alliances, but the board is resisting:

Although the ban is now lifted, the HCDSB may follow suit with other Catholic school boards in Ontario and adopt a broad “diversity group” policy, creating space for anti-discrimination groups, which allow students to discuss a number of social justice issues, such as racism, sexism, poverty and homophobia.

Students says the banning of the word "gay" is extremely problematic:

Sarah Kelly, a master's of teaching student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), who started the Facebook page “Fight the Halton Catholic Board’s ban on Gay Straight Alliances,” leads a group of students and activists making emotional pleas to trustees. 

“The fact remains one in three gay and lesbians will attempt suicide due to the damaging attitudes and policies such as this very ban,” she told the board.


Ontario Catholic School Board to Reconsider Ban on Gay-Straight Alliances Following Board Member's 'Nazi' Remarks

The Halton District Catholic School Board in Ontario is reviewing a ban on Gay-Straight alliances enacted on November 2, following an Xtra story published in early January which caused widespread outrage over a board member's remarks comparing gay groups to Nazi groups.

The National Post reports: Lemay

Board chairperson Alice Anne LeMay said Monday the ban was enacted as the board created an equity and inclusive education policy, as required by new equity legislation from the Ontario Ministry of Education.

"When we worked through it and it was passed on Nov. 16, some things were added about the exclusion of certain groups, particularly a [gay-straight alliance] group and that's the way it was passed," she said. (Ms. LeMay was forced to apologize Monday for saying earlier that gay alliances, like "Nazi groups," would not be allowed in Halton's Catholic schools because they "don't fall within the teachings of the Catholic church.")

A board meeting is scheduled for this evening:

Reached on Monday evening, Ms. LeMay said she didn’t know yet whether she would vote to support the ban or to repeal it at Tuesday’s meeting. Several new members who were elected to the board in October didn’t participate in the November vote, including an openly gay trustee, 22-year-old Paul Marai.

Mr. Marai called the ban a divisive “waste of time” that distracted the board from the more important issue of education. He also expressed his support for Ms. LeMay.

“I do know her to be quite a tolerant and accepting individual,” he said.

Watch Sarah Kelly, a Master of Teaching student at the University of Toronto, speaks out for Gay-Straight alliances and about the Halton ban, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ontario Catholic School Board to Reconsider Ban on Gay-Straight Alliances Following Board Member's 'Nazi' Remarks" »


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