LGBT activists and sex workers to protest event at Vancouver Public Library featuring controversial feminist speaker

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      LGBT and sex-work activists, allies, and organizations are slated to hold a protest tonight at a downtown event that they consider to be hate speech.  

      The Coalition Against Trans Antagonism (CATA) has been organizing a demonstration to be held outside the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) at 8:30 p.m. today (January 10) to protest a sold-out event entitled "Gender Identity Ideology and Women's Rights".

      The event features local feminist speaker Meghan Murphy, who has been criticized for her views of trans people and issues.

      LGBT advocates, activists, and organizations have criticized and expressed concerns about Murphy's views and questioning of trans people and gender identities.

      In a news release, CATA explained that they will be protesting "the content of the event, which promotes fear, discrimination, and hatred toward trans people and sex workers" and the coalition also criticized the library for allowing the event to be held at the venue.

      "There is no liberation in a feminist movement that is not intersectional and inclusive of all community members," CATA stated. "The Coalition Against Trans Antagonism, along with trans and sex worker community members, refuse to be silenced by those who seek to minimize, erase, and/or harm our existence and livelihoods."   

      The VPL has also come under fire for allowing the event to be held.

      The VPL responded by stating that although it does not endorse or does not agree with the views expressed by Murphy, it is allowing her to rent their public space on the basis of intellectual freedom and freedom of speech.

      The VPL stated that the Vancouver Police Department will be monitoring the event for any criminal code violations.

      The event was incorrectly reported to be cancelled after several news outlets received an email that appeared to be from Murphy but it was later confirmed not to be from her.

      In response to the event, an LGBT–inclusive feminist event is scheduled to be held tomorrow (January 11) entitled Feminism Unbound: Resisting Fear and Exclusion in Our Movement, which will take place one block away from the VPL. The event, which is sold out, will address issues of hate speech coded within progressive language and issues that marginalized communities face.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.