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There was nothing wrong with Canada's J.K. Rowling billboard

Written by Jerry Agar for the Toronto Sun, Sept 14th, 2020

When censorship and hate are supported by politicians and members of the media, censorship and hate threaten to become mainstream.

Vancouver city councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung is stoking that fire.

Hate is born of ignorance and lies. The danger is that the hateful liars are not content to disagree and debate, they are ramping up their campaign to shut down debate entirely. It is an inquisition. Kirby-Yung’s anger was directed at Pattison Outdoor and a billboard that read: “I (heart) J. K. Rowling.” The councillor took to Twitter to address the company writing,

“Hi @pattisonoutdoor. I’m condemning this clear, intentional messaging meant to stoke hate, exclusion & division. This kind of hateful expression sets us all back not moves us forward.”

What hateful things did Rowling do? The Harry Potter author wrote a long, thoughtful blog post at entitled, “J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues.” She explains that she is worried that women will be less safe in formerly safer spaces such as women’s-only washrooms and change rooms if any male can declare himself a woman and enter. Her charitable trust “supports projects for female prisoners and for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.” She worries about an erosion of safety for those females. She feels the same about her children’s charity. She is a victim of domestic abuse and defends free speech. Debatable, to be sure, but not hateful. Her post goes into much deeper detail on the trans issue, and I don’t intend to debate those in this limited space. I am concerned that uninformed hatred increasingly permeates this country. Those who declare null and void the free speech of people with whom they disagree are a danger to our nation. Many people supported Kirby-Yung on social media. Some took to misquoting, or lying about what Rowling said, followed by ignorant, misogynistic virtue-signalling designed to show us how much more caring they are than they say she is.

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