Anti-Israel Group To March in Toronto Gay Pride Parade

No Opposition for First Time in Five Years

wikimedia

By JTA

Published June 23, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid will take part in this year’s Toronto Pride parade.

For the first time in five years, there has been no organized opposition to QuAIA participating in the parade, which will be held June 29. Jewish community and some city officials have opposed the group joining in the past.

“People got pretty tired over the years of the same fight,” Martin Gladstone, a Toronto lawyer and gay rights activist, told the Jewish Tribune. “These guys don’t quit and everyone’s tired of giving them oxygen.”

A 2012 report by Toronto’s Department of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights concluded that the phrase “Israeli Apartheid” did not violate the city’s anti-discrimination policy. A dispute resolution committee later ruled that QuAIA’s message was not discriminatory toward the Jewish community.

The City Council approved $160,500 in funding this year for Pride Toronto, an increase of $20,540 over last year. However, the budget passed with an amendment introduced by City Councillor James Pasternak, who is Jewish, requiring that groups receiving cultural funding understand that the failure to comply with the city’s new anti-discrimination policy could result in the forfeiture of current and future money.

It also asks the City Council to “affirm its view that Toronto remain a destination of respect, tolerance and safety, and that the importation of world conflict zones is contrary to these ideals.”

Opposition to QuAIA this year “was extremely quiet,” Pasternak told the Tribune. “No advocacy organizations, no deputations; it was very strange.”

He added, “Since nobody came out, I took the initiative and moved this motion.”

Toronto’s Jewish gays are “100 percent focused on not allowing ourselves to get distracted by QuAIA this year,” said Justine Apple, executive director of Kulanu, the Jewish lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender group. “We’re here for the Jewish LGBT community at large.”

This year, the Canadian city also is hosting WorldPride, a 10-day festival that attracts LGBTQ people from around the world.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.