Christian political party sues Canadian city over decision to remove anti-trans ads
A city in Canada is being sued by a Christian political party after it used its power to remove anti-trans ads in bus stops.
The city of Hamilton in Canada last August used its power to remove ‘offensive’ Christian posters which depict a man going into a women’s restroom in opposition to trans women using gender-appropriate bathrooms.
The City moved to remove the three posters paid for by the Christian Heritage Party (CHP) from bus shelters.
The party is now suing the city to have it reconsider its decision and aims to have the ads reposted.
It also asks for the city to declare that removing the ads was a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The party claims it had its right to freedom of expression violated.
A man is depicted in the posters entering a door marked “ladies showers”.
The CHP’s poster also reads “where is the justice?”, in opposition to laws which protect trans people’s right to use the bathroom of their choosing.
As well as the posters, the CHP also gave out 3,500 flyers to homes in Hamilton Mountain, which encouraged people to complain to city councillors about trans women in women’s bathrooms.
“The city will be removing the ads and we are sorry for the offensive nature of them,” spokesperson Jasmine Graham told CBC.
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As well as apologising, Graham went on to say last year that third-party advertisers handling contracts “should ask the city about any questionable advertising content so the city’s senior management team can review and either approve or reject the ad.
“We are currently investigating to see where the breakdown was.”
The ads were placed by CHP candidate Jim Enos, who also distributed the flyers.
He told CBC that he had emailed Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger about the removal of the posters, adding: “We think it’s important to all females in Hamilton whether they belong to the party or not.”
Enos said the posters do not target trans men, only trans women, because: “I don’t think there are too many men that would complain about women coming into their facilities… I wouldn’t want to see it be a hardship on women … Women are generally very modest.”
Graham responded by saying the city does provide individual washrooms for those who want them, but that they would not become mandatory for transgender people.