For immediate release STATEMENT BY GLEN MURRAY TORONTO (July 26, 2011) – In an op-ed published in The Toronto Star during Pride

weekend, my friend and colleague Bernie Farber and I traced the history of persecution that Jews and gays share. We should stand together, we wrote, to remember those who have perished at the hands of bigotry. We did not expect this to be controversial. But in a letter published in the July 23 issue of The Star, 13 members of the Vaad HaRabbanim of Toronto disagreed. They went so far as to compare being gay during the Holocaust to being a communist during the same period. Bernie and I know that we are privileged to inherit our equality from generations of Jews and gays who sacrificed their own lives to stare down hate – including from Stalinist communists, who persecuted both Jews and gays with vigour. To trivialize our fundamental human characteristics as “life choices” and “ideologies,” as the letter’s authors do, is profoundly offensive. Doing so denigrates the very idea of equality and civility that is our only real defense against totalitarianism and hate. I was appalled when my Conservative opponent, through a spokesperson, described one of the letter’s authors as a righteous person (“Tzaddik”) for suggesting that being gay is a “life choice.” At 1:16 p.m. on July 24, Jacob Blum, Campaign Manager and Conservative Party Spokesman for Toronto Centre PC candidate Martin Abell, tweeted: "Rabbi's lttr in TorStar: the Crux of the Rabbi's mssg was that ones humanity supersedes one's life choices Rabbi Schochet is a Tzaddik !!!" Mr. Blum went on to state that gays, lesbians and others who were massmurdered by the Nazis were not “real victims” of Nazi fascism. I was stunned and disturbed that, in 2011, a political campaign could make such ignorant and insulting statements. I am proud to represent some of Ontario’s most diverse neighbourhoods at Queen’s Park. Those citizens deserve an MPP who celebrates who they are. In this campaign, I hope that our opponents will meet the same standard. - 30 CONTACT: Adam Goldenberg, (647) 223-0852

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LINKS: 1. “The divine within all people,” Letter to the Editor, The Toronto Star, July 23, 2011: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters/article/1029305--thedivine-within-all-people 2. Tweet from Jacob Blum, describing homosexuality as a “life choice”: http://twitter.com/#!/8Blums/status/95180012801626112 3. Tweet from Jacob Blum, about the “real victims” of the Holocaust: http://twitter.com/#!/8Blums/status/95186743078289409 4. Bernie M. Farber and Glen Murray, “Jews and gays: Taking the road less travelled,” The Toronto Star, July 2, 2011: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1017972--jews-andgays-taking-the-road-less-travelled

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