MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert shocked by homophobic attack at his office

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      Spencer Chandra Herbert, the MLA for Vancouver-West End, stated that he and his assistant are shocked by a homophobic attack that took place at his office on February 21.

      According to news releases from Chandra Herbert and the Vancouver Police Department, an intoxicated man entered the Denman Street constituency office of Spencer Chandra Herbert, who is openly gay, and demanded to see him. He was asked to leave. The man expressed hatred for the rainbow flag (which was flying at the West End Community Centre across the street), and shouted homophobic slurs at Chandra Herbert's constituency assistant. He allegedly punched a hole in an office door and punched the assistant in the face.

      Chandra Herbert contacted police, who arrested the man and took him to jail. The 53-year-old man has been released without charges. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 4.

      The Vancouver Police Hate Crimes Unit is investigating the incident. 

      His assistant is recovering from the attack. 

      "I believe that acts of hate and violence are serious matters that should be reported to the appropriate authorities," Chandra Herbert stated in his news release. "For this reason criminal charges are being pursued. If such senseless acts of hate and violence can happen in an MLA's office in Vancouver's West End, they can happen anywhere. 

      "This attack will only encourage me to redouble efforts to ensure our government is taking all steps to support our province’s diverse communities and stand against hate. 

      "We will continue to honour the memories of Aaron Webster, Ritchie Dowrie and other victims of homophobic violence in our province, and we will continue to proudly raise the rainbow flag as an expression of equality, dignity and human rights for all."

      Canadian cities and provincial legislatures have been flying rainbow flags for the duration of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, in solidarity with LGBT Russian communities who are living amid antigay legislation in Russia.

      Chandra Herbert had asked B.C.'s attorney general and the speaker of the House to fly the rainbow flag at the B.C. legislature. He received confirmation on February 12 that it would be flown and it was raised on February 13.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at  




      Feb 24, 2014 at 2:25pm

      It's good to get the authorities involved.

      But I hope SCH or visitors to our town would not get the idea that this inebriated turd represents the views of many Vancouverites. I'm down with the rainbow flag, as is my entire family, because love and respect for differences are family values.

      It does my heart good to see teenagers like my kids participating in their schools's anti-bullying initiatives, and even more to see old farts like my parents and myself, that are getting past this antique prejudice and even speaking against it when we hear it.

      Come to think of it, is *is* a shocking attack... this seems so 1982.

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      Yeah right

      Feb 24, 2014 at 2:25pm

      That's disgusting, especially to such a respected politician who wouldn't hurt a flea. Gays and lesbians deserve a lot of credit for being out when it means that they are under very real threat of physical injury, and worse. I hope they don't let this moron use alcohol as an excuse to get off easy.

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      What the actual f vancouver

      Feb 24, 2014 at 2:51pm

      Y'all good old boys need to stay east of Boundary please.

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      Diana Matrick

      Feb 24, 2014 at 3:49pm

      Words cannot express the depth of my sadness and shock. “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world.” Jack Layton.

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      Rational Bob

      Feb 24, 2014 at 6:45pm

      I wouldn't be shocked if this was simply another event arranged by a politician. Wouldn't be the first time a politician of any party was involved in such shenanigans to "raise awareness." Thumbs down all you want folks but this guy was either mentally ill or hired to play a specific role.

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      Community Observer

      Feb 24, 2014 at 11:43pm

      Poor Spencer! Boo hoo. Slow news day and the press doesn’t pay any attention to him anymore, so he issues a press release to let all the media know all about this incident. It’s unfortunate it happened, but knowing the NDP, this was a bit embellished so he could claim to be a victim. Sad thing is that Spencer Herbert- Chandra is the Peter Principle personified. How pathetic for the gay community that the elected so called “leaders” are such flakes. Hello Timmy!

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      Odds Bodkin

      Feb 25, 2014 at 6:03am

      So the demented creature didn't like the Rainbow flag across the street at the West End Community Centre. Good. Put up another one, and another each and every time a gay bashing incident happens.

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      Yeah right

      Feb 25, 2014 at 8:10am

      @Community Observer

      "claim to be a victim"? Are you living under a rock? Name one other group of people who are subject to violence merely because they are different than the majority of the population? Name another group of people who can expect to be called names and physically attacked if they show any signs of affection to each other in public? You're a homophobe and you should at least have the guts to admit it.

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      Feb 25, 2014 at 11:14am

      With all due respect to the victim, I fail to see what difference it makes to the injured party what their sexual orientation/race/creed/colour is. Are we supposed to believe that if Mr Chandra's assistant was straight, the punch would hurt less? And it is somehow a less serious crime?

      How sexist and racist is to say " well you are a white, straight man, suck it up"? If a straight man's attacker yells (you know the word) while punching him, is this still a hate crime?

      There must be some definition of "equality" that I missed.

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      Feb 25, 2014 at 1:54pm

      To those who gave me the 'thumbs down" answer this. Please understand these are hypothetical questions, no hate here.

      What if the attacker was a First Nations Lesbian? She would likely be entitled to a reduced sentence under the Gladue Decision, plus she is a member of a group protected by Hate Crime Legislation. Whose "rights" are more protected?

      Or if the attacker was Homosexual himself? Or for that matter a homosexual beats up a straight man while yelling "breeder"?

      I am sorry for believing that no matter who you are, the punishment should fit the crime. Who or why the attack occurred is frankly irrelevant.

      How are we any better than those countries that punish people simply for being homosexual? We are in effect punishing victims of crime who are not.

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