For the second consecutive year, the protest group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid will march in Montreal’s Gay Pride parade.
Parade organizer Fierte Montreal Pride told the group that organizers will have the final say on the acceptability of banners and slogans carried in the Aug. 15 parade, the Montreal Gazette reported.
B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights urged organizers and sponsors “to dissociate themselves from the promotion of hate,” and condemned the use of the term “Israeli apartheid.”
The gay Jewish group Ga’avah – Hebrew for pride – which is also taking part in the parade, objected to the use of the term “apartheid” but put free speech first.
“Promoting another agenda at Pride parades and hijacking the spotlight is unfortunate and divisive for the LGBT community,” Ga’avah spokesman Carlos Godoy told the Gazette. He added, though, that “as a free society, we would be remiss to stop this or any other group from promoting our collective rights in Montreal.”
The situation contrasts starkly with Toronto, where Queers Against Israeli Apartheid’s participation in that city’s July 4 Gay Pride parade stirred months of controversy.
Toronto parade officials, responding to pressure from Jewish groups and local politicians, originally disallowed the group from marching under its name, but they reversed the policy days before the parade.