Toronto public library has been criticized because of failure to cancel the event with the participation of the speaker, infamous for his statements about transgender women.
In the online petition, which gathered more than 2400 signatures, says that the library provides Megan Murphy a platform for spreading ideas, providing a basis for discrimination.
Its initiators, writer Alicia Elliot, Catherine Hernandez and Carrian Leung, said they will no longer participate in the activities of the library, her leadership allowed the event, scheduled for October 29.
“We are shocked by the fact that our public institutions that we value, give Murphy the platform, instead of having to stand up for community values. Moreover, we feel betrayed,” reads the petition.
“To provide a platform for Murphy means abandoning promises to be safe and impartial space for members of the transgender community.”
Murphy, an independent writer who maintains a web site “Current Feminist” (Feminist current), wrote that “allowing the men to identify themselves as women,” we are endangering women and undermine their rights.
She also said that TRANS-women shouldn’t be allowed in women’s restrooms, writing that “there is absolutely no reasons why you need to allow people to go to the toilets, taking into account their personality, feelings, or choice of clothing, not their sexual identity”.
Library representatives, meanwhile, argue that they know that this event caused “anger and anxiety”, but, according to them, they are obliged to protect freedom of speech.
“We also expect that participation in respectful civil discourse with people of opposing views can be a more productive strategy than refraining from public library activities,” – said in a statement.
“Libraries have always provided support to the vulnerable communities while welcoming and creating space for different points of view, without censorship.”
The organization also stated maloveroyatno that statement Murphy called “Gender identity: what it means for society, law and women?” in violating its rental policy.
The rules said that the library may cancel any event a third party that will promote “discrimination, contempt or hatred to any group or person on the grounds of race, ethnic origin, place of origin, citizenship, colour, ancestry, language, religion, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, attitude to marriage, family status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, trade Union membership or Association, receiving social grants, level of literacy or any other similar factor”.
The petition States that “hard to believe” that the speech Murphy will have the effect of encouraging discrimination against members of the TRANS community.
“Those who want to spread hate speech today, know that they can distort, and then to arm the phrase “freedom of speech” to get what they want: an audience and a place to promote their ideas, and then to mobilize that audience against marginalized communities,” the site says.
“There is a difference between preventing freedom of speech and what is known as the deprivation of the platform when you refuse to allow the spread of hate in your institution”.
The Vancouver public library has faced a similar reaction in January, when she allowed Murphy to speak at one of their branches. Later the library was forbidden to participate in pride events in the city, the organizers relied on giving Murphy permission to hold the event.