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Pride déjà vu: the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid debate imperils funding (again)

Like another Pride controversy of yesteryear, the question of whether Queers Against Israeli Apartheid should be allowed to march in the Pride Parade is once again up for debate. Last year, some city councillors (we’re looking at you, Giorgio Mammoliti) freaked out over the possibility that the group would show up, and talked about revoking funding for the event. In the end, QuAIA volunteered to skip the march (though they did drape a large banner above the Wellesley subway station), and Pride got city cash (though council changed its Pride funding policy: it would only hand over the cash after the parade on the condition that the festivities don’t violate the city’s anti-discrimination policy). This year, however, QuAIA plans to apply to march, making council’s vote next month on Pride’s $123,807 grant potentially thorny. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that council is still working on figuring out exactly what qualifies as discriminatory: though the city manager has determined the use of the phrase “Israeli Apartheid” doesn’t break any anti-discrimination rules, the policy will be reviewed at the mayor’s executive committee meeting in June. [Globe and Mail]

  • correction

    What great news! This is a step forward for human rights and freedom of speech. Right-wing voices on city council have made fools of themselves by threatening to defund pride over this issue. QuAIA does important solidarity work with both Palestinian and Israeli queers. The organization needs our full support from the principled attacks against it from Ford and his chosen homophobic henchmen…

  • Craig Stevens

    What piffle! As a young gay recent UofT graduate and Ford supporter, I must illuminate this issue for dogmatic ‘queers’. First of all, so called leaders of the ‘queer’ community do not speak for me as they are unrepresentative and unaccountable. Ford was elected, right wing and left wing councilers were elected. If council chose to bar a group of misinformed queers whose singular commitment is to discredit the only state in the middle east that is truly gay-positive, then council can do that. This group can express themselves and protest, however, they should be uninvited from an official celebration of tolerance. Perhaps theses people ought to visit gaza, have a chat with Hamas officials about what they think of homosexuality (Hamas operates under islamic law, and being gay is punished by the state, but also by vigilantes). Next, visit Israel’s gay pride parade in tel aviv. Who is the real apartied state? This group should not be banned for hate speech, it should be bared because their claims are not factual.

  • gilbert j

    In response to Craig Stevens. This story is not about gay rights in the Middle East only. It is about Human Rights in the state of Israel particularly, the oppression of Palestinians. And you might want to check out and evaluate your own dogmatism.