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.