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Vancouver Public Library will accept room booking from controversial gender-identity group

The Vancouver Public Library’s chief librarian Christina de Castell has released a statement affirming the rights of the socially conservative group Gender Identity YVR to host a panel discussion, titled Women’s Places & Spaces: Sports, Prisons, and Shelters, at Vancouver’s Central Library. The #GIDYVR Still Talking Series submitted a room-rental request for the March 21 panel. The series regularly features radical feminist speaker Meghan Murphy, who advocates against trans rights.

“After a difficult and emotional discussion, a majority of the Board decided to accept the rental request,” de Castell said in the statement. “As with other room rentals, acceptance of this rental request does not mean that the Board endorses or agrees with the positions of the group or individuals using our space.”

In a similar situation, an October 2019 room rental for a talk by Murphy was accepted by the Toronto Public Library. Hundreds attended a protest that took place outside the event. In November, a #GIDYVR event featuring Murphy at Simon Fraser University was cancelled over security concerns.

The Vancouver Public Library went on to say that the event will be held after the library closes as it “may cause disruption to library services and programs.”