Earlier this week a group of Conservative MPs and staffers released an anti-bullying video aimed at gay youth and the criticism has been swift.
In the video, MPs such as Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews repeat the line "it gets better" in support of a campaign by the same name. It was started by blogger and columnist Dan Savage to let gay youth, especially those contemplating suicide, know there is support available if they're being bullied for their sexuality.
Many are calling the video hypocritical given the underwhelming support some MPs in the video have shown for LGBT rights initiatives. Toews for example has in the past been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage and protecting sexual orientation under hate crime legislation.
In a blog post, Savage said perhaps Toews and his fellow MPs are coming around to the "error of their ways" but that it's not enough:
People who are in a position to make it better -- elected officials -- but who have chosen, over the years, to make it worse, can come around. It's essential that they do ... But it's going to take more than a video to undo the damage done by Vic Toews and Canada's conservatives. This was, quite literally, the least Vic and his fellow conservatives could do. The very least.
MP Randall Garrison, the New Democratic Party critic for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, told the National Post that the video "fails to understand the basic concept" of the campaign and that the lack of actual LGBT voices in the video detracts from its effectiveness.
The video was released on the same day as the funeral of 15-year-old Jamie Hubley, who committed suicide last week. Hubley's father, Ottawa city councillor Allan Hubley, released a statement saying his son had been the victim of bullying.
What do you think of the Conservatives It Gets Better video? Let us know in the comments.
MORE 'IT GETS BETTER' VIDEOS:
As part of the It Gets Better Project, President Obama shares his message of hope and support for LGBT youth who are struggling with being bullied.
As part of the It Gets Better Project, Vice President Joe Biden offers a message of support to LGBT youth who are being bullied. November 17, 2010.
Inspired by President Obama's "It Gets Better" video, several LGBT White House staffers share their messages of hope and support for LGBT youth who are struggling with being bullied.
Stonewall has launched a new campaign reassuring gay school pupils that they don't have to wait for things to get better in their lives -- they can be great now. In Britain we have partnership rights, the right to serve in the military and the right to have children. Our government is committed to tackling homophobic bullying and many schools, supported by Stonewall's Education for All campaign, are taking bold steps to do just that.
A video contribution for the It Gets Better Project from Google Employees. Resources: www.thetrevorproject.org www.pflag.org/
November 14 - 20, 2010 is Bullying Awareness Week in Canada. Some of us at the CBC have joined together to take a stand against bullying because we know what it's like. Whether you're bullied or teased because of the colour of your skin or because of your sexual identity, we want you to know that it gets better. If you are being bullied and are thinking of hurting yourself, please contact the Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868). It's a 24/7 resource available across Canada that's entirely confidential and non-judgmental. Kids Help Phone www.kidshelpphone.ca It Gets Better Project www.itgetsbetterproject.com Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line http (Ontario only)