Hateful flyers distributed in transgender NDP candidate's riding
Published Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:56PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 27, 2017 12:52PM PDT
A transgender woman who's making a historic run for provincial office has become the target of a hateful flyer campaign in her Vancouver riding.
The flyers, which were distributed in the West End neighbourhood this week, describe candidate Morgane Oger's gender identity as a lie and urge constituents to reject her in the name of religion.
"The truth is there are only two genders, male and female and they are God given and unchangeable," the handouts read.
They also caution against embracing "homosexuality and transvestitism" in B.C.
Oger is one of the first openly transgender people to run for MLA in the province, or for political office across Canada.
She told CTV News she was hurt to see the handouts being spread in her Vancouver-False Creek riding, but she's more concerned about how they might impact others in the community.
"I know I'm resilient but not everybody else is," Oger said.
Apart from her career in the tech sector, the candidate is known for her work as a human rights advocate fighting for LGBT protections. The flyer features a picture of Oger that happens to have been taken at an awards ceremony where she was honoured for trans activism last year.
"I think it's fitting that this is the kind of weapon these people try to use," she said. "It's very sad."
The man behind the flyers isn't connected to any political party, and Oger's opponent from the B.C. Liberals, Sam Sullivan, also condemned the handouts as unacceptable.
"We are an inclusive province and this kind of rhetoric has no place in the public discourse of this province," Sullivan said.
While the flyers make an appeal to God and faith, even including a number of Bible verses, Oger said she believes the vast majority of religious people reject such arguments. She compared the line of attack to a critique of a candidate's race.
"This man is not living up to Canadian values. Canadian values are to not politicize who people are," she said.
He's also clearly barking up the wrong tree, according to some in the community.
Lance Sandover, owner of Barrette Salon on Hornby Street, briefly interacted with the man when he came into the store and dropped off a flyer on Tuesday.
"Where we're standing right now is in the heart of the Gay Village," Sandover said from outside his salon. "He's kind of in the wrong neighbourhood."
Oger told CTV News she's focussed on the election, but could potentially pursue a Human Rights Complaint over the flyers.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's David Molko
Correction: A prevoius version of this story incorrectly referred to Oger as the first openly transgender MLA candidate in B.C. The B.C. Green Party ran a transgender candidate in 2013.