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'Israeli apartheid' group bows out of Pride parade

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Thanks for Freedom of Speech, gay pride parades are a cherished form of free speech but not when it comes to the Israeli apartheid. Gays are bashing Christianity all the time and yet they are not banned from their Gay Pride Parades.

We’ll believe it, and pay for it, when we see it.

Mayor Rob Ford along with some Toronto city councillors was skeptical about a promise by Queers Against Israeli Apartheid not to march in this year’s Pride parade.

The group announced Friday it won’t march in the parade, accusing Ford of using them as an excuse to cut Pride funding.

“We will not march,” QuAIA spokesman Elle Flanders told the Sun Friday.

Flanders said the city manager’s report delivered earlier this week “clearly vindicated” the organization and “made it clear that political speech wasn’t hate speech.”

The group made the decision not to march in the parade in a bid to work with the larger Pride community, she said.

“It seems, reasonable to believe that we are being used as a pretext to cut more funding,” Flanders said.

“QuAIA is here to stay,” she stressed.

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti called QuAIA’s proclamation a win but said he doesn’t trust its promise not to march.

Earlier this week, Mammoliti vowed to ask his colleagues on the executive committee to pull all of Pride’s funding unless the group was kept out of the parade.

Now Mammoliti wants Pride to write a letter to the city guaranteeing the group won’t have anything to do with any of the festival’s events.

If Pride writes the letter, Mammoliti said he has no problem moving forward.

Mayor Rob Ford told reporters Pride should only get funding after the parade ends and it is clear QuAIA didn’t participate.

“Last year, council agreed that if (QuAIA doesn’t participate) they will get their money after the parade,” Ford said.

“That’s what we agreed on and I don’t see why we are going to change that agreement.”

The mayor said he has a hard time believing the group when they say they won’t march.

“I have a hard time because last time they said they weren’t and they did,” he said.

Councillor James Pasternak said he was relieved to hear the group has vowed not to march.

“It’s something we do not need in the public space or publicly sponsored event,” Pasternak said.

The councillor said the only way council can ensure the group keeps its word is by withholding funds from Pride until after the parade.


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