CANADA: Trans-Identified Male Who Campaigned To Defund Rape Shelter Awarded Medal By Governor General

Canadian women are expressing outrage after a trans-identified male who campaigned to defund a rape crisis shelter was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada. Morgane Oger, a trans activist from Vancouver, was honored at a ceremony in Ottawa last week.

On December 16, Oger took to X (formerly Twitter) to boast of his receipt of the award, claiming he had been selected because of his work with “2SLGBTQ+ persons” and trans rights.

“Feeling so grateful, recieving [sic] the Meritorious Service Medal from Governor General of Canada Mary Simon last week for supporting 2SLGBTQ+ persons and furthering the legal protections of Transgender Canadians.”

In Canada, the Governor General is the federal representative of the monarch, currently King Charles III. According to the website for the Governor General of Canada, the Meritorious Service Medal is a civil award that recognizes “great Canadians for exceptional deeds” such as tackling poverty or improving educational opportunities for children.

In the list of recipients for the awards that were distributed on December 7, Oger is described as a “champion of diversity who has changed perceptions around 2SLGBTQI+ rights and has worked tirelessly to see those rights enshrined in law.”

Continuing, the office of the Governor General states that Oger has “forged alliances across party lines that propelled changes to provincial and federal legislation protecting individuals against discrimination based on gender identity or expression.” The short biography concludes by lauding Oger for his “courage, vision and perseverance have helped redefine the fundamental issue of equality and have advanced inclusiveness for gender-diverse Canadians.”

But the news of Oger’s top-level commendation did not sit well with Canadian women’s rights advocates, who noted that Oger has a long and disturbing history of actively fighting against women’s rights.

Canadian journalist and Feminist Current founder Meghan Murphy called out the Governor General, writing that Oger had once stalked her through her neighborhood in apparent retaliation for her views on gender ideology.

“Morgane Oger, whose career has involved harassing and vilifying feminists who defend women-only spaces, including fighting to defund Canada’s longest-standing rape crisis centre and transition house, @VanRapeRelief, stalked me around my neighborhood one day. Just one more reason I left Vancouver,” Murphy wrote. “Are these the ‘exceptional deeds’ bringing honor to Canada, @GGCanada? Making women feel unsafe and ensuring that when they are targeted by male violence they have nowhere safe to go?”

Murphy, like many others, was calling attention to an incident in 2019 where Oger successfully campaigned to strip Canada’s oldest rape crisis center, Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter, of its city funding due to its female-only policy. In comments made before the city committee meeting, Oger called the shelter “non-compliant with Canadian law.

Prior to losing its city funding, Vancouver Rape Relief had been through a 12-year legal battle where its policies of only serving females and only allowing female peer rape counselors had been tested and held up in court. The Supreme Court of British Columbia and the British Columbia Court of Appeal both ruled that the facility was allowed to maintain a female-only space.

But despite the legal precedent, the City of Vancouver agreed with Oger and pulled the funding it had previously provided the shelter for its educational outreach programs despite the fact that the outreach programs were accessible to all, even transgender people.

While in the throes of defending its funding, Vancouver Rape Relief was targeted by a sickening harassment campaign from trans activists. Dead rats were nailed to the door and messages like “KILL TERFS” and “trans women are women” were written on the windows of its charity storefront.

Oger dismissed the abuse the rape shelter was receiving in a blasé statement he gave to press at the time.

“Sometimes, unfortunately, when Vancouver Rape Relief’s policies hit mainstream media and when their discriminatory conduct hits the light of day some people overreact,” he said of the vandalism and threats.

But just prior to the incident with the shelter, Oger had already attracted the ire of Canadian women’s rights advocates for his initial support of vexatious litigant Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv.

Yaniv, a trans-identified male, made international headlines after filing a series of complaints with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal against female aestheticians who refused to perform waxing services on his male genitals. During a lengthy proceeding, it was alleged that Yaniv had deliberately targeted salon workers who were Sikh or Muslim in an effort to force women with religious restrictions on male-female contact to serve him.

On X (then known as Twitter) Oger referred to the women’s refusal to touch genitals on demand as “prohibited discrimination” and said that there was “no entitlement in Canada to refuse the performing of a service” on the basis of gender identity.

“Estheticians should take this up with their training providers. It wasn’t that long ago some service providers ‘weren’t trained’ to work on Black women or serve foreigners, either,” he said. “The law’s changed. Move on, get the training you need.”

When asked directly about his personal involvement with Yaniv, Oger was non-committal in his comments but admitted that he had spoken to Yaniv on the phone and that he had previously encouraged “trans women” to “complain to their human rights tribunal about prohibited discrimination.”

Eventually, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled that estheticians were, in fact, able to refuse services that they were not trained to perform, such as waxing a scrotum.

This is not the first time Oger has received a Meritorious Service Medal. In 2018, he was given the award by then-Governor General Julie Payette for, according to City News, “her [sic] work advocating for LGBTQ rights.”

Speaking to Reduxx, journalist Meghan Murphy condemned the Governor General for providing Oger one of the most respected civilian awards in the country.

“Morgane Oger’s legacy is fighting against women’s rights, safety, and free speech,” she said. “Anyone who focuses so much effort on defunding one of the few rape crisis lines and transition houses in Canada is not someone who deserves to be celebrated.”

Murphy continued by noting that Oger had made her feel “unsafe” in her own home, prompting her to file a police report on him in 2020.

“This is a man who has gone out of his way to ensure that women don’t have safe places to go when escaping male violence. That the Canadian government has supported and celebrated him in these efforts is horrendous and shameful.”

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Eva Kurilova

Eva is a guest contributor for Reduxx. A regular contributor at Gender Dissent, Eva is passionate about promoting lesbian activism and protecting women's sex-based rights. You can find her traversing the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada with her partner and their husky, Freya.

Eva Kurilova
Eva Kurilova
Eva is a guest contributor for Reduxx. A regular contributor at Gender Dissent, Eva is passionate about promoting lesbian activism and protecting women's sex-based rights. You can find her traversing the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada with her partner and their husky, Freya.