UPDATE, Aug 28 — Helen Kennedy, executive director of EGALE, will not reveal the amount the National Post donated to the LGBT rights organization after the newspaper pulled the “Stop Corrupting Children” ad it ran in September 2011 during the Ontario election campaign.
Kennedy says she does not want to breach the tacit privacy agreement between Egale and its donors.
“I’m not in a position to reveal what individual donations were to Egale,” she says. “If you donated to Egale in trust, would you want that given to a paper?
“I think the speculation in the community is that it was a very large sum of money. I am just trying to respect the rights of a donor to privacy.”
A representative from National Post’s advertising department says a full-page black and white ad would cost about $45,000, less if the advertiser has a contact with Post Media.
Kennedy says she “would love to reveal the amount for the community.” She will say the donation was much less than $45,000.
“We did some calculations as well,” she says. “We speculated on how much the proceeds would be, but I don’t know how it works. I don’t know how much proceeds would be from that.”
Nick Mulé, chair of Queer Ontario, says a coalition of about 10 groups released a statement following the publication of the ad. The coalition included the 519 Church Street Community Centre, Egale, the LGBT Youth Line, Supporting Our Youth (SOY), Black CAP, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), Fife House, Sherbourne Health Centre and the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.
“The coalition was formed to express our anger to the ad itself and how offensive it was,” he says. “There needed to be a community voice to come forward.
“We wanted to hold them to account. You can’t just run an ad like that and not expect some kind of reaction to it.”
Mulé thinks Egale should make public the amount of the donation.
“I think the donation should have been shared with the coalition,” he says. “We are all groups in need, and that would be an acknowledgement of everyone’s work. Why all the secrecy? Why is the amount not being shared? Whose interests are being benefited? In a coalition, there needs to be transparency.”
Kennedy says the money was directed to Egale’s trans programming.
Aug 13 — Remember the “Stop Corrupting Children” ad that ran in the National Post in September 2011 during the Ontario election campaign?
The Institute for Canadian Values creation sparked much criticism and forced the paper’s editors to apologize for printing the transphobic advertisement from the Christian-right group.
They then pledged to donate the proceeds from the ad to a local group that works to advance the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people.
At the time, the Post didn’t respond to Xtra’s follow-up calls asking which group received the donation.
One year later, Xtra tried again and finally got some answers.
National Post publisher Douglas Kelly says a donation was made to Egale Canada.
However, Kelly wouldn’t say how much money was donated, citing privacy between the media company and its advertisers. “I’m not going to tell you how much money was donated because that was reflective of the value of the ad, and we don’t release that. That’s a private contract between us and an advertiser.”
Helen Kennedy, Egale’s executive director, did not return calls from Xtra.
The “Stop Corrupting Children” campaign was first launched earlier in 2011 to protest proposed revisions to provincial physical and health education curriculum that would include more sex education for younger children.
Under a picture of a young girl, the ad read, “Please don’t confuse me. I’m a girl. Don’t teach me to question if I’m a boy, transexual, trangendered, intersexed or two spirited [sic].”
The ad called on the leaders of the three major political parties to “stop teachers from confusing” the little girl, as she “face[s] enough in the world already.”
At the time, Charles McVety, whose Canada Christian College houses the Institute for Canadian Values, told Xtra he didn’t believe the ad to be homophobic or transphobic.
The Liberal government has yet to follow through on its commitment to hold curriculum consultations or reintroduce its new curriculum, as had been promised when it postponed the curriculum launch almost two years ago.