Emo council should reconsider choice

JoAnne Formanek Gustafson

Dear editor,

We live in a country of diverse beliefs where people of different abilities, racial backgrounds, and sexual identities have the right to equal opportunities, equal services, and equal inclusion in our communities. The Ontario Human Rights Code protects individuals from discrimination in the receipt of services including municipal services. Last week Emo Mayor McQuaker, Councillors Boven, and Councillor Toles denied those rights to the LGBTQ2 community. Furthermore, Mayor McQuaker abused the idea of Christianity in his recent TBNewswatch interview, when he suggested that being a Christian supports excluding people from communities.
The Christian values I adhere to include love, acceptance, and the celebration of human beings including all that they bring to our communities. We are all told we are made “in God’s image.” Who is McQuaker to deny this? Who is McQuaker to judge who is “worthy”? This is not my understanding of what Christians do. In fact, Matthew 7:1 tells us to “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Suffice it to say a lot of judging seems to have happened, and perhaps a healthy dose of humility and self-reflection would be advised.
I don’t think the actions of Mayor McQuaker and Councillors Boven and Toles represent all the residents of Emo and even if they did, discrimination based upon gender identity or sexual preference is prohibited by the Ontario Human Rights Code. I sincerely hope that these representatives reconsider their actions and revisit this issue In the best interests of their community.

JoAnne Formanek Gustafson