Main | Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pride Toronto Redux

Pride Toronto hasn't even begun accepting applications to march in this year's parade, but already last year's controversy is back in the news.
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is pulling out of Toronto’s annual Pride Parade in what the activist group called a “challenge” to mayor Rob Ford, who had threatened to cut the city’s funding to the parade because of the group’s continued participation. The Ford administration’s response? Prove the group is out, and we’ll provide funding. Mr. Ford and his allies on council had said they would cut Pride’s funding altogether if Queers Against Israeli Apartheid takes part. The group’s vocal opposition to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories has elicited accusations of anti-Semitism, but some advocates argued the reluctance to fund Pride had more to do with the mayor’s stance toward a flamboyant gay and lesbian event. Pride relies on the city for about a quarter of its budget. Last year, the city gave the parade a $123,807 grant and $245,000 worth of services, such as litter cleanup and policing.

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