The members of ATG don't have any qualms about people knowing they "hate gays."
Sporting shirts that say "If you're gay, don't approach me, I'll kill you" in public and dropping quotes like "I hate gays for real" in interviews with media, this Quebec-based gamer clan really want you to know they don't like gay people.
On Halloween, one of their members, Julien Clément, was spotted wearing the anti-gay shirt at a haunted farm event in Ottawa. A woman, sitting behind him, shocked by the blatant and violent homophobia on his T-shirt took a photo and threw it up on Facebook. The post quickly went viral.
Dr. Kristopher Wells, the faculty director of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies at the University of Alberta, called it "very concerning" to know that this isn't just a lone wolf situation.
"The shirt goes beyond being offensive," Wells told VICE. "I think the Ottawa police and the RCMP domestic terrorism group should be investigating this kind of shirt.
"With this kind of rhetoric, it puts citizens on edge wondering when or if this kind of language turn into actual violence. What would actually happen if a gay person went up to these people and did want to, you know, shake their hand?"
Wells said that the shirt in itself is violent and some critics, including lawyers, have said they believe it violates
Section 319 of the Canadian Criminal Code which governs hate speech.
"These are not Canadian values," said Wells. "These kinds of actions put terror and fear into an entire group of people. What would happen if those t-shirts said 'I want to kill black people?' What about Jewish people or Muslim people?"
Clément told Metro Ottawa that the name ATG comes from the name of his "gaming clan," and his Facebook pages features a number of men who sport the acronym. Clément did not grant VICE's request for an interview.
Another member of the group, Yan Miller, said that he believes he should be allowed to sport the T-shirts because of freedom of speech.
"It sucks we're not allowed to have what we want," Miller told CTV. "They're allowed to have a flag and have a parade but we can't have a shirt?"
Two of the men pictured in Clément's profile with ATG hoodies did not have private Facebook pages have been trolled with photoshopped pictures of Clément with a cartoon dick in his mouth and links to sites like Lemon Party and Meat Spin.
Ottawa police have said that they are investigating the incident.
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