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Conservatives' 'It Gets Better' Video Draws Criticism

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.



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