LGBTQ advocates Donald Keras (left) and John Federici, both with PFLAG Abbotsford, from the Abbotsford area say they found homophobic material (pictured) distributed in three businesses. Federici said he does not believe the business owners were aware of the pamphlets, nor were they supporters of the material. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Homophobic flyers left at 3 B.C. businesses

PFLAG representative John Federici warning owners to keep an eye out for unwanted material

An Abbotsford-area advocate for LGBTQ youth is warning business owners that homophobic literature is being distributed at local restaurants without the knowledge of the owners.

John Federici with PFLAG Abbotsford, a support group for LGBTQ individuals and their families, said he has found flyers stuffed in brochure areas of three businesses over four months. The flyers, he said, have been distributed at past rallies held in the area last year.

The pamphlets promote a book by a group called Mass Resistance, a U.S. anti-LGBT organization deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre. The back of the single-page flyers, Federici said, promotes positions about LGBTQ individuals that are damaging or false.

“On the back it goes into detail about gays being the reason why STDs are spread. It’s just a just a bunch of hateful (material),” Federici said.

Related: Conservative activists rail against LGBT curriculum in Abbotsford

“That was primarily distributed about a year ago. It first was being distributed at a hate rally in Chilliwack,” he added, referring to a Culture Guard rally against the new SOGI 123 curriculum in schools that promotes acceptance of LGBTQ people.

Federici said he found one of those pamphlets among menus and pamphlets for other programs in a Pizza Hut in Abbotsford, and he brought the pamphlet to the attention of staff and management.

Federici said he did not believe the restaurants he found the crudely printed pamphlets at supported the viewpoints of those pamphlets, one of which, shown to The News, bore the logos of Culture Guard and Mass Resistance.

“Nor do I think it’s the actual hate groups on here (distributing the pamphlets). It’s just primarily a supporter of these hate groups making printouts at home and distributing them all over the place,” Federici said.

“Culture Guard is promoting this, but I don’t believe it is Culture Guard that is distributing these around the businesses. But they have had these present at their rallies before.”

Kari Simpson, executive director of Culture Guard, did not say whether or not the group had distributed the materials.

“Independent distribution of that information is at the discretion of the individual. Culture Guard encourages the lawful sharing of the information and does not restrict use or distribution of the materials.”

The pamphlets have largely shown up at larger companies like Pizza Hut with locations in Abbotsford, which Federici described as “diversified” and not likely to be promoting the material.

A manager at the Pizza Hut location where the pamphlet was found confirmed that the location was approached by Federici and that they had been unaware of the pamphlet. She said the business did not promote that message.

But Federici said he wants to put out a warning to business owners in case the wrong person comes across the pamphlets and assumes the business is promoting anti-LGBTQ material.

“I don’t want them being targeted by this crap. Because people don’t think twice like we maybe do. They maybe just go right for the business and cut their head off, so to speak.”

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

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