You may recall all of the drama last summer when Pride Toronto‘s leadership abdicated its responsibility as organizers of the city’s gay pride festivities by allowing a controversial group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) to march in the annual parade.
Outraged pro-Israel and anti-discrimination groups, as well as city politicians, pressured Pride Toronto to reverse its decision, which it did, before flip-flopping at the last minute and allowing QuAIA to march.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he will withhold more than $100,000 in city funding to the annual gay pride parade if an anti-Israel group again is allowed to participate.
Ford, who was elected on a right-wing, waste-slashing agenda last November, told the Canadian Jewish News last week that he will cut funding to the annual Pride Toronto event if Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is allowed to participate in this summer’s parade.
“Taxpayers dollars should not go toward funding hate speech,” Ford told the weekly, repeating a pledge he made while campaigning for the mayor’s post.
Pride Toronto received $123,807 from the city last year.
Writer Terry Levine says, “ One can legitimately oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank — I do and have done so vocally — but for purported gay activists to be so blinded by their pro-Palestinian views that they, to paraphrase the quote above, bark at the finger of gay-friendly Israel while overlooking the glaring moon of Arab and Muslim intolerance toward gays is ridiculous.
If QuAIA members want to protest in front of the Israeli embassy or board the next flotilla to Gaza, they’re welcome to. But to spray their venom at an event that celebrates gay pride and the struggle for gay rights is obscene.”