ONTARIO, Can. (TND) — Members of the Ontario Legislative Assembly are pushing a bill that would create “2SLGBTQI+ Community Safety Zones” where “offensive remarks” about gay people would be prohibited within 100 meters and could lead to a fine of up to $25,000.
The Protecting 2SLGBTQI+ Communities Act is being proposed by Kristyn Wong-Tam, who is a member of the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Ontario.
“Drag artists have faced threats and intimidation all across Ontario over the past year,” Wong-Tam said, according to an official NDP of Ontario press release. “Businesses and 2SLGBTQI+ community members are being told that they can’t be out and proud from Thunder Bay to Hamilton, to Guelph, to Stratford, to Welland, Ottawa, and even Toronto. New Democrats are giving Ford’s Conservatives a chance to stop hate—today—by passing my private member’s bill.”
Wong-Tam’s bill would allow the the Attorney General of Ontario to designate physical addresses in the province as “2SLGBTQI+ Community Safety Zones” for a specified period of time. During the time a safety zone is in effect, “anti-2SLGBTQI+ harassment, intimidation, and hate speech within 100 meters of the designated address could receive a provincial fine of up to $25,000,” according to the NDP’s press release.
The press release also notes that Wong-Tam’s bill would establish an advisory committee made up of members of parliament and “diverse queer and trans community members” to provide recommendations for preventing and combating “anti-2SLGBTQI+ hate crimes in Ontario.”