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Canadian Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg apologizes for censoring gay displays


WINNIPEG — Leadership at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg is apologizing for censoring displays about LGBTQ history at the request of some school groups.

Six members of the executive team signed an apology released Friday that says the practice was contrary to everything the museum stands for.

It comes a week after the museum announced it will conduct an external review following social media posts alleging a racist and discriminatory work environment.

The museum posted images of a Justice for Black Lives rally and current and former employees began responding that it was hypocritical because of racism they faced working at the museum.

Other current and former employees also posted online how they were asked to avoid showing displays of LGBTQ history to certain school groups.

The museum says it stopped the practice of hiding content in 2017.

"For breaking the trust that was extended to us by the LGBTQ2+ community, our visitors, our staff and volunteers, our members and donors, and for the hurt and harm this betrayal has caused, we apologize," museum president and CEO John Young said in a release along with five other executives.

"We failed in our responsibility as leaders."

The external review is to look at this issue, as well as complaints about systemic racism and discrimination, and provide recommendations.

The museum's displays describe how the LGBTQ community has a long and painful history of stories being marginalized and hidden.

"For the Museum to actively try to hide these stories and experiences which are displayed prominently in our galleries is not just a painful repetition of a pattern of oppression, it is a profound betrayal," the apology said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2020

The Canadian Press

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