Will Toronto Pride’s Intolerance Backfire?

cop-prideThe CBC has several articles on the Pride movement on their new site today. I’m somewhat of a dispassionate observer. I believe in tolerance. If I had skin in the game, I’d be concerned over the intolerance being shown by a movement that should be seeking to engender it, especially with people who can be its allies and protectors. First, I’m going to comment on Toronto police invite to NYC Pride parade ‘a slap in the face’ to those demanding change.

​Banned from marching in uniform in this year’s Pride parade, a group of about 100 Toronto police and union representatives traveled to New York City this weekend to participate, in uniform, in that city’s festivities… Pride Toronto voted in January to uphold a ban on uniformed officers first proposed by Black Lives Matter activists…[Many] see the move as a “slap in the face” to those who supported the exclusion of uniformed officers from the Toronto parade.

Banning people from your event and then claiming they are “slapping you in the face” when they elect to attend another event that welcomes them is the height of hypocrisy. By excluding a group who has supported and protected you for years, you are risking destroying any good will that their compatriots who might otherwise not support you may have. The message being sent is that if you are a police officer, you aren’t allowed to be a member of the gay community.

More fractures in the movement are pointed out in the article U.S. gay pride parades sound a note of resistance — and face some of their own:

Some activists feel the events are centered on gay white men and unconcerned with issues that matter particularly to minorities in the movement, such as economic inequality and policing. The divide has disrupted some other pride events this month. The No Justice No Pride group blocked the Washington parade’s route, and four protesters were arrested at the parade in Columbus, Ohio.

It notes a similar move to exclude police from an event:

In Minneapolis, organizers of Sunday’s Twin Cities Pride Parade initially asked the police department to limit its participation, with the chairwoman saying the sight of uniformed officers could foster “angst and tension and the feeling of unrest”… The city’s openly gay police chief called the decision divisive and hurtful to LGBT officers. On Friday, organizers apologized and said the officers are welcome to march.

Finally, you can see exactly how excluded the Toronto police feel in the article ‘You take away from Pride when you exclude’: first responders throw their own party:

“For me, Pride has always been about inclusion,” [Bryn] Hendricks, who usually participates in Pride events, told CBC Toronto. “When we start excluding people, lawful individuals and organizations, that’s not what Pride has been founded on. I feel like we’re taking a step backwards.”

It’s sad the a movement promoting equal rights for a minority is now actively discriminating against minorities within that very movement. This is the problem with identity politics. How can anyone claim that being a police officer or a white man removes your right to be a member of the gay community? If you keep casting out members of your movement, making them start their “own parties”, your movement will eventually die.


About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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