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Arreak-Lightstone, Towtongie spar over support for LGBTQ community

Wearing a rainbow pin, Iqaluit MLA Adam Arreak-Lightstone made a statement in the legislative assembly Thursday in support of the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transexual-queer (LGBTQ) community.

“We need to accept everyone’s individuality and celebrate it,” says Iqaluit-Manirajak MLA Adam Lightstone.
photo courtesy of the legislative assembly.

“Sadly, to this day in the year 2020, members of the LGBTQ+ community, including
Inuit, continue to face discrimination. I have received numerous correspondence from
constituents over the last week regarding some controversial statements about procreation, which may have been hurtful and alienating to Nunavummiut,” Arreak-Lightstone said. “The term procreation has historically been used to justify one group’s intolerance towards another group. It’s my job as an MLA to represent my constituents and I would not be representing them properly if I did not stand up for the LGBTQ+ community when faced with intolerance.”

A week earlier, Kivalliq MLA Cathy Towtongie said she was in favour of procreation when referencing “two-spirit” people.

Towtongie took the floor immediately following Arreak-Lightstone on Thursday and she picked up where he left off.

“As you know, I have always spoken about the prevailing authority that exists in the Inuit mind. When professionals came from the south, our elders were silenced of their world view,” Towtongie said. “I will not be intimidated for my views or my opinions as an elected member.”

Arreak-Lightstone also expressed his intention to voice his convictions.

“We need to accept everyone’s individuality and celebrate it,” he said. “I will continue to make my views on this very clear, and I look forward to standing up in this House and defending the human rights of all Nunavummiut.”