A pro-oil group has apologized for putting out an ad featuring two lesbian women kissing to promote Canadian oil sands production — a form of oil that’s opposed by environmentalists.
The Canada Oil Sands Community (COSC) published an ad, dubbed the “hot lesbians” ad, featuring two women kissing next to the caption: “In Canada lesbians are considered hot! In Saudi Arabia if you’re a lesbian YOU DIE!”
“Why are we getting oil from countries that don’t think lesbians are hot?” the ad asks.
Apparently, the ad didn’t sit well with people on Facebook, and COSC was quickly accosted with criticism over the ad.
“I support the oil sands but do not support homosexual sex,” Jennifer Brown wrote on COSC Facebook page. “This ad is was inappropriate and overtly sexual. You have done much harm for the oil sands its cause.”
“[T]hat poster was disgusting, fetishizing queer women and reducing the existence of lesbians to something for men’s pleasure – for something for men to find ‘hot,’ Jessa Evenden, who is a women’s studies major at the University of Toronto, wrote on Facebook.
Even though not everyone thought the ad was offensive, COSC founder Robbie Picard posted an apology on Facebook and took down the ad Monday.
“I apologize for the poster I posted,it was not my intent of demeaning women or any people of any sexual orientation,” he wrote. “It’s was rather to highlight injustice done by other countries we are purchasing our oil from. I certainly don’t want to divide our community I believe in equality and human rights.”
COSC’s ad was meant to highlight how extracting oil sands in Canada is much preferable than importing oil from Saudi Arabia or other OPEC nations rife with human rights abuses. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is punishable by death, though it’s not often prescribed by the courts.
COSC is one of several groups promoting oil sands extraction in Alberta, Canada. Environmentalists have opposed oil sands, arguing they emit more greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming.
The Obama administration struck down the Keystone XL oil pipeline on the grounds it would look bad to the international community ahead of a major United Nations climate summit. Keystone XL would have brought oil sands from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries.
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