Keep Pride Alive
A new petition was started today on Change.org that is attempting to get 100,000 signatures in support of obtaining City of Toronto funding for Pride Toronto again this year. There are moves underway to defund the organization of any funding, partially as a result of the QuAIA (Queers Against Israeli Apartheid) inclusion during last years parade. When did the “march” officially change over to a “parade” anyway? Perhaps we need to revisit the terminology of these two words, and consider the context each one delivers.
Parade - An organized public procession on a festive or ceremonial occasion.
March – An organized walk or procession by a group of people for a specific cause or issue.
Xtra recently published an article containing information on a leaked email sent to all city councillors by Toronto Sun columnist Sue-Ann Levy, which basically asked for their support to vote against City funding. It should be noted that Ms Levy sent this email from her company email address, is of Jewish descent, and is a member of the LGBT community.
The Jewish Defence League of Canada are organizing a protest “against Jew hatred” outside the Pride Toronto offices on Friday April 15th at noon. This whole debacle on free speech and censorship is gathering steam once again as Pride is just over two months away. Perhaps it’s time the City looks at its own guidelines surrounding what is and isn’t appropriate, and they become the enforcer instead of leaving it up to Pride to decide. This is going well beyond a gay rights issue and should be viewed as a political issue on its own accord.
Toronto’s City Manager has submitted his report to City Council, finding that QuAIA’s participation in Pride Toronto and the phrase “Israeli apartheid” do not violate the city’s anti-discrimination policy. This item will be considered by Executive Committee on April 20, 2011. It will be considered by City Council on May 17, 2011, subject to the actions of the Executive Committee.
The petition was started by Michael Bach, a community activist who calls himself “Diversity Dude“. Bach states, “Our community needs Pride and the City that reaps the benefits of the event should also be paying for the event.”
Click here to add your name and show your support for an event that brings visitors to the city who spend on accommodations, meals, attractions, transportation, shopping, and more.
Tell Toronto to Keep Pride Alive!