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Quebec ads moves to eliminate homophobia

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Published: 12 Mar 2013

$7M campaign; discussion on 'openness to sexual diversity'

In the latest salvo of a $7 million plan to eliminate homophobia in the province of Quebec, a new ad campaign is telling Quebecers to get used to seeing gay parents and women kissing in public. In one of two 30-second commercials, a middle-aged woman comes home to discover a love note accompanying a rose. She walks into an adjoining room where she is met by a surprise party. Another woman, presumed to be her partner, then emerges from the crowd and gives her a kiss. "Does this change what you were thinking 20 seconds ago?" asks a narrator in French. In a province already known as one of Canada's most socially liberal, the idea is to get Quebecers to question "their real openness to sexual diversity," said the Quebec Ministry of Justice in a statement. "Although Québec has passed legislation to recognize the legal equality of sexual minority members, they have yet to achieve full social acceptance," reads the Justice Quebec website. Critics of the effort have decried it as a crackdown on the right to oppose homosexuality. "The citizens and institutions of Quebec must remain absolutely free ... to defend, if they will, the traditional view that homosexuality is deeply problematic physically, mentally and morally," Douglas Farrow, professor of Christian Thought at McGill University, wrote in a 2010 paper.

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