White Rock Pride Society files complaint against church alleging discrimination

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      A White Rock church is the subject of a complaint that alleges discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

      The White Rock Pride Society filed the complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal after the Star of the Sea Parish declined to rent a room to the LGBTQ group for the purpose of hosting a Pride event there.

      According to CBC News, White Rock Pride Society president Ernie Klassen attempted to reserve a space at the church for an event that would raise money for LGBTQ youth. After making an initial inquiry and confirming that the space was available, Klassen said a representative for the Star of the Sea Paraish told him over the phone that they would decline to host the event.

      "They phoned me later in the day and said that, as you maybe thought, there are going to be some issues, and we don't believe we can rent the hall to you,” Klassen recounted to CBC News.

      The White Rock Pride Society then made their request in writing and received a reply in writing that reaffirmed the church’s decision not to allow the pride event in their building. That’s when the decision was made to file a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal.

      None of the allegations have been proven and the tribunal has yet to issue a decision on the matter.

      "The effect of each of these denials was to single out the pride society as a group that was unwelcome to use the community centre, which was otherwise available to rent to members of the general public," Klassen's complaint reads, according to CBC News.

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