Canada's oldest rape crisis center has lost its funding after refusing to provide services to transgender women.
What are the details?
Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Center in Vancouver, Canada, had a policy in place of offering services only to biologically female women.
According to the National Post, when the organization would not rescind the policy and revise it to include services for transgender women, the Vancouver City Council pulled its city funding from the organization.
The Post reported that Vancouver City Councilmember Christine Boyle accused the organization of "supporting transphobia" after the vote to pull the group's funding passed and suggested funding more "inclusive" providers.
She wrote, "Trans women are women and sex work is work. Trans women & sex workers deserve care & protection. I can't support orgs who exclude them, so I won't be supporting city funding for #Vancouver Rape Relief. I hope we can redirect funds to an inclusive provider."
Trans women are women and sex work is work. Trans women & sex workers deserve care & protection. I can’t support or… https://t.co/O2gkd2ZzdI— Christine Boyle (@Christine Boyle)1552503937.0
What has the organization said?
In a statement, the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Center blasted the Vancouver City Council for its insistence in trying to force its hand and described the council's actions as "discrimination against women in the name of inclusion."
A portion of the statement said, "Vancouver City Council's decision is intended to coerce us to change our position and practice of offering some of our core services only to women who are born female."
"Vancouver City Council's decision to cut funding from Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter is discriminatory," the statement added. "[T]his is what is being asked of us under the guise of inclusivity."
The statement made it clear that the organization's services are "available to all women who have experienced male violence."
"Being born female still means being trained, socialized, and forced to submit to male domination," the statement continued. "The fact that we are born female and raised as girls to adulthood as women shapes our lives in profound ways."
The organization's Twitter account also shared a note about the revoked funding, calling the move an "attack on women."
"Discontinuation of grant to Vancouver Rape Relief shows trans activism is an attack on women," the post wrote.
Discontinuation of grant to Vancouver Rape Relief shows trans activism is an attack on women #womenonly… https://t.co/GlgL2LR9vG— VancouverRapeRelief (@VancouverRapeRelief)1553128452.0
A spokesperson for the organization told the Star that it will not be moved from its position no matter what kind of financial blowback the organization receives.
"Rape Relief is strong enough and principled enough and has enough supporters in the community … we will say 'no' to that kind of money," the spokesperson said.
The organization is set to lose about $33,000 in city funding — just a fraction of its annual $1 million budget.