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Advocacy News - PSA - PFLAG / equalmarriage.ca Press release

November 19, 2003

"What's Wrong With Gay Marriage?"
Theme of New Equality Campaign

"... a subtle and skillfully crafted advertising media campaign."
LifesiteNews.com, November 21, 2003


Toronto: "What's wrong with gay marriage?" A series of three, 30-second television and radio spots created by award-winning Toronto agency, Zig and produced by Industry Films, will begin answering that question today on stations across Canada.
External link to Industry Film

The spots will raise awareness for the equal marriage issue and support the work of PFLAG Canada (www.pflag.ca) and Equal Marriage for Same-Sex Couples (equalmarriage.ca).

PFLAG

PFLAG Canada provides support, education and resources to individuals, their parents, families and friends on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. There are 45 chapters of PFLAG and contacts across Canada offering peer counseling and support, conducts public education and works for equality for all Canadian families. The organization provides a much-needed support system for anyone dealing with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. "PFLAG members embrace the value of families, march proudly and joyfully in Pride parades across the country, publicly declaring their love and acceptance of family members, friends or themselves" says Wayne Harrison of Saint John, PFLAG Canada's Executive Director.

PFLAG first began working in Canada with the formation of the Toronto/Mississauga/Brampton chapter in 1985. "Members work to rebuild the lives of parents, families and friends of people dealing with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, often in homes, at the kitchen table, or meetings in church basements, community health buildings or on telephone calls at any hour of the day or night with anxious mothers, fathers, sisters or brothers, or even with the person with the sexual orientation or gender identity issue," says Laurie Jones of Brampton, a PFLAG founder and Canadian treasurer.

"2003 is proving to be an historic year for equality in Canada. Parliament has added sexual orientation to the hate section of the Criminal Code of Canada and is moving forward in recognizing same-sex marriages across Canada. Yet, as news reports clearly show, discrimination and intolerance continue to fester openly in our society." says Helen Hesse of Winnipeg, national secretary. " We believe that love is all it takes to make a family and we, in PFLAG Canada will work to reduce discrimination everywhere in Canada, whether it is in the home, school, the workplace or elsewhere."

"The Canadian Government must uphold the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and ensure equality and justice for all Canadians. This is especially true for children - they should not have to suffer because of ignorance and bigotry. The importance of creating a loving nonjudgmental society that embraces diversity cannot be overstated," says Eldon Hay, PFLAG Canada President.

Equal Marriage For Same-Sex Couples
equalmarriage.ca

Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell launched equalmarriage.ca after their historic Jan. 14, 2001 marriage. With over 3,000,000 hits and 100,000 visitors each month, the web site is Canada's leading source of information about same-sex marriage.

The couple are co-authors of the critically acclaimed book Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights (published by Doubleday Canada and the University of Wisconsin Press). Just Married was recently translated into French and published by Les Éditions Stanké. They write for a variety of adjudicated academic journals and commercial publications (most recently in the University of New Brunswick Law Journal and the international journal Feminism and Psychology). Their speaking engagements have brought them to Europe, the United States, and across Canada.

Kevin and Joe received a Distinguished Leadership Award last month from Philadelphia-based Equality Forum, the premiere international GLBT civil rights forum.

"It's an honour to work with PFLAG to bring these important messages to Canadians," Kevin Bourassa said. "We are thrilled that the cause of equal marriage has been advanced through the generous contribution of Zig and Industry Films. These two dynamic companies have a history of supporting social causes. Over 100 people donated their services and money in the interest of equality and have produced what are sure to be award-winning public service messages."

The public service announcements can be seen and heard on equalmarriage.ca

-30-

For more information, please contact:

Eldon Hay
PFLAG Canada
1-506-536-0599
Marlene Morais
PFLAG Toronto
416-593-7221 ext. 3850
mmorais@blaney.com
Andy Macaulay
Zig
416-598-4944


The public service announcements were made possible thanks to the participation of:

Barry Parrell (Sesler & Company)


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