toronto public library controversy petition

Pride threatens to ban the Toronto Public Library from all of its events

Amid the censure and controversy surrounding the Toronto Public Library's decision to host an event featuring anti-trans Feminist Current journalist Meghan Murphy, Pride Toronto has issued a formal statement to say it will reconsider its relationship with the library should Murphy's talk be allowed to take place.

"It was our belief that the TPL was committed to creating library spaces that are inclusive, safe and welcoming. The recent decision to allow the event with Meghan Murphy is a betrayal to our LGBT2sQ+ communities," the open letter reads.

City Librarian Vickery Bowles says this rental of the library's space is in compliance with library policies

But, according to some, Murphy's talk on gender identity — scheduled to take place at the Palmerston branch on Oct. 29 — would violate the policy against letting out the space for "a purpose that is likely to promote, or would have the effect of promoting discrimination, contempt or hatred for any group or person."

Pride Toronto board of directors member Christin Scarlett Milloy took it one step further by adding on her personal twitter that the TPL will be banned from all future Pride events should the event go forward.

Nearly 6,000 members of the Toronto area literary community have signed a petition, launched on October 15, calling for the TPL to cancel the event.

Social media has been up in arms about the issue, with some residents calling the event an endorsement of hate speech, and others saying that banning Murphy is censorship and that the library is obligated to provide access to citizens equitably — regardless of their beliefs — as a publicly-funded body. 

Mayor John Tory and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival are among those who have asked the library to reconsider its decision to continue hosting the event.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim


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