Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yet another gay activist snubs Pride Toronto

Michelle Walker, one of the founders of Vancouver's Dyke March has joined Alan Li and Jane Farrow in declining honours from Pride Toronto citing its decision to implement censorship for the first time in its 30-year history when it banned the words "Israeli Apartheid".
I was genuinely excited and honoured to be selected as the recipient of Pride Toronto's Community Service Award this year. However, in light of recent free speech censorship actions taken by Pride Toronto - censoring of the words 'Israeli apartheid' during this year's Pride celebrations - I have come to realize that to accept this award would be to violate the spirit it honours: a dedication to queer community. I sincerely appreciate the recognition, but until such a time that Pride Toronto realizes the crucial importance of allowing free speech to all of Toronto's queer community, I must respectfully decline the honour.
Read the full text here.
This is becoming a very divisive issue in Toronto's gay community, with some people blaming QuAIA for "ruining our parade" which they claim should be a politics-free celebration. Hey, no one likes a Charlie's Angels tribute float better than I do, but some of us remember the long struggle for gay rights, and why it was so important. Just because we have achieved equality under the law, is no reason to rest on our ruby slippers. We may not be in Kansas anymore, but there's a pervasive desire coming from the bigots and religious zealots who have infiltrated all levels of government, to send us right back there.

Gay pride is about to get a whole lot more political. Buckle your seat belt Dorothy!
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