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Mammoliti's Pride motion passes but with big revisions

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Mammoliti's Pride motion passes but with big revisions

Toronto City councillor Giorgio Mammoliti's motion to defund Pride Toronto (PT) as punishment for its decision to rescind its ban on the words "Israeli apartheid" in Toronto's Pride parade passed at city council today after a vote of 36-1. But the motion was changed significantly before it came to a vote.  

It reads: 

1. City Council direct that funding for Pride Toronto be paid after the parade and be conditional upon Pride Toronto requiring all registered participants to comply with the City of Toronto's Anti-Discrimination Policy (read the policy here - PDF).

2. City Council request the City Manager to advise Pride Toronto on what is required of them to meet the Policy.

3. City Council request the City Manager to advise Pride Toronto whether the participation of QAIA and the signs or banners they carry contravenes the City's Anti-Discrimination Policy.

(Full text of the motion and the votes can be viewed here)

That means that funding for PT's 2010 celebration won't be clawed back and that the matter is closed at least for this year. For next year, the onus for interpreting the city's antidiscrimination policy, for making the determination whether or not the presence of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid in Toronto's Pride parade violates that policy, will fall to the city manager's office. Also, PT will get its city money after future Pride celebrations rather than before, as is the case now.

 

Xtra talked with PT executive director Tracey Sandilands after the vote. She said she is relieved by the outcome. She said that getting city funding after the parade in the future is a bit of an inconvenience, but that she's happy PT isn't on the hook for interpreting the city's antidiscrimination policy. She said she believes PT was always in compliance with city policy.

Although a significant victory for Toronto's gay communities, the move does come with some risks. For example, those opposed to QuAIA's presence in the Pride parade now know precisely where to target their lobbying efforts: the city manager's office. If those lobbyists are successful over the course of the next few months, gay people may have to deal with QuAIA censorship issues again next year. But there's nothing in Canadian jurisprudence to suggest that criticism of the Israeli government is discriminatory. So it seems implausible that city managers could reasonably make that determination. At any rate, for now the ball rests firmly in the courts of the anti-QuAIA lobby and the city manager's office.

QuAIA has always maintained that the presence of its contingent does not breach the city’s policy. After announcing it would ban the term "Israeli apartheid" on May 25, Pride Toronto rescinded the ban on June 23, less than two weeks before the parade on July 4.

Mammoliti's original motion demanded retroactive repayment of city grants to Pride Toronto for the 2010 celebration as punishment for Pride Toronto's decision to rescind its ban on the term "Israeli apartheid."

Sandilands also told Xtra that despite a relatively successful Pride celebration this year, she anticipates that PT will have a deficit of at least $100,000. 

We'll have more later.

>> Free speech at Pride: Read all of Xtra's coverage in one place

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Comments

Actually I'm pretty sure its
Actually I'm pretty sure its only the American wing of the JDL that's officially considered a terrorist organization and not the Canadian wing, however you've got to wonder about any group that would so closely align itself with a terrorist group like that. They obviously share the same philosophy since they use the same name, but then I wonder why exactly one went the route that lead to them becoming a terrorist organization while the other apparently hasn't? Regardless I can totally see how the presence of a group so closely connected with terrorism would make a lot of people real uncomfortable. I know some equate QuAIA with terrorism but that can't be taken at all seriously since they are a legitimate human rights group and have no connection to any terrorist group unlike JDL Canada, well some consider all Palestinians to be terrorists but they're bigots and also can't be taken seriously plus those locked into a narrow binary world view of you're either with us or against us I suppose. Anyways I think the Pride march was a success this year with all sides of the issue represented but in a way that didn't take away from anyone's enjoyment of the day, well for more than the minute or so it took for whatever group to pass by whomever may have strong negative feelings about the other side, but that was a tiny portion of the whole day which was a great success in my opinion.
Okay seriously. Why are
Okay seriously. Why are people comparing QUAIA to JDL and Nazi. That IS CRAZY. QAIA have not committed or showed any interest in committing any hate crimes or violent action against any human being (Muslim, Christian, or Jew). JDL and KKK have been labeled as terrorist groups, while QUAIA are pro Palestinian human rights groups that strongly criticize Israel for its illegal occupation and apartheid system implemented in Palestine.
Pride is about fun and
Pride is about fun and representing the whole queer community in Toronto. There were a lot of participants that represented many different issues. Banning QAIA is extremely ridiculous. There is always two sides of the story. This is Canada, where is the freedom of speech?
There's a very fine line
There's a very fine line between freedom of speech and hate speech.

I'm in a good position to say this. I'm of German descent and my grandfather who died earlier this year in Germany, at the age of 100 & 1 month, was always pro-Nazi, even after the war. He was never keen on my Italian ex-wife because she was Italian. He never knew about my current Jewish male partner and my coming out late in life.

Everybody should be entitled to their own opinion...their own educated opinion, hopefully.

I don't think it's the message that's inflammatory...it's the way it was said. Why not Queers for a Free Palestine...why center out Israel? It's unfortunate that most people in the parade would not be able to find Israel & Palestine on a map.

I think the Nazis were also given Freedom of Speech and were tolerated. Their initial message appealed to the masses, a crushed people (Treaty of Versailles). Look at the aftermath.

Both sides share some guilt and some responsibility. Use reason!

And being relatively new to the 'gay' lifestyle...I have to say...this parade should be for the LGBTTIQQ2S (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgendered, Intersexual, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited) groups. Let the others get their own parade.

It's queer (pun intended) that a community so sensitive on appropriate speech & terminology can allow a loose canon in their midsts.

Have we opened the door for any group? The KKK would be an extreme...but what about fundamental Christian groups who will remind us of our sins? Or those who wish to convert gays to straights since we did have a choice!?

And I know this has probably been said before but would QuAIA be warmly accepted to march in Palestine? I don't know about you...but I can't march for the rights of people who wish to see me dead.

And finally...it's always so easy to look in your neighbour's yard and point the finger. Why didn't anybody mention Canada's apartheid; what we have done and are still doing to the First Nations people. (I suggest this be a new entry into the parade.)

Fix and fortify your own house before you decide to throw stones at others.

JBT
@Peter Well, as established
@Peter Well, as established many times over in the comments on this site, the requirements for participating in Pride as an individual contingent are quite clear:

(1.) be part or supportive of the LGBT community; and
(2.) be law-abiding

The JDL and Westboro Baptist Church fail completely on the first count and, depending on the day, fail on the second count as well.

Try again?
It's freedom of speech for
It's freedom of speech for the QUEER community. QuAIA is a queer group (although most people marching with Kulanu were pretty obviously not at all queer, from what I've been told... obviously the JDL are the most heterosexual cisgender thing ever).
@ TamSo what, I thought we
@ Tam

So what, I thought we could have freedom of speech at Pride or is it freedom of Speech as long as we agree to agree. If the QuAIA can march then why not the JDL or why not next year we bring the Westbroo Baptist Church along too since after all its freedom of speech and expression
Blah blah blah, guidelines,
Blah blah blah, guidelines, not part of our group, excuses, lies, hypocrisy....THIS IS WHAT QuAIA is all about.
There is a single incident
There is a single incident where someone ripped a sign out of an Israel supporter's hand. That person is NOT a QuAIA member and was asked to leave the contingent before the march even started, but refused. She was a provocateur who intentionally violated QuAIA's public guidelines. And one of our marshals attempted to stop her from this action, but the video on the internet is cut off to hide this.

Please read QuAIA's guidelines for the march:

http://queersagainstapartheid.org/2010/06/30/march-with-quaia-at-pride/
James Calhoun, do you mean
James Calhoun, do you mean Kulanu, because even though they brought the JDL and pro-Israel groups, I still think they should march.

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