Confirmed victory

Demand Ontario Libraries Stop Filtering Gay Social Networking Web Sites

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Gay social networking sites like www.gaycanada.com have been seemingly banned from some Ontario public libraries in Canada, filtered as part of a policy to keep "offensive" Web sites from being accessed on library computers. But many of these Web sites aren't offensive; rather, they're social networking spaces for LGBT people to connect with one another, similar to Facebook.

The President of Chatham-Kent Pride in Ontario, Sarah Fraleigh, tried to access gaycanada.com at a local public library, before finding out that the word "gay" was filtered, labeled as offensive.

"The GayCanada site is a way for gay people to contact people who are similar and for many it's their only way to communicate, as many of us live in smaller communities in this municipality and may not have many people we can talk to where this site offers us the chance," said Fraleigh. "These sites are no different in nature than Facebook, and I can certainly say it's much better in content than several other sites that can be accessed through the public library."

Indeed, other terms, including curse words and many sexually-suggestive words, are permissible under the library's filtering system. But the word "gay" is not.

Send a message ot the Chatham-Kent library system, as well as to Ontario's Minitry of Culture, letting them know that filtering the word "gay" at libraries is not only censorship, but it prevents people from accessing communities and friends.



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