Toronto police were able to participate in last year's Pride parade, but that won't be the case this year after a vote of 163-161 determined that members of the police force will be banned from this year's parade. The narrow loss for the police received an overall positive response from parade-goers. But, a surprising amount of Torontonians are also against it.
The results follow the news of a confidential document distributed by organizers to the event's participants. The contents infer that the police were invited last year due to funding issues. The document read:
"In 2018, the political climate changed, and Pride Toronto's position on the participation of the Toronto Police had to come under reconsideration, as it became clear that while our funding arrangements in the past could withstand our policy on police participation, our future funding could not,".
This year clearly tells a different story, and many Torontonians aren't happy about it:
@LGBTCop @TDotGayCop @TPSSelvaggio @Patty4250_TPS I am so sorry to hear the results of the Pride https://t.co/13w6ihh84c long as they continue with this then I will not be attending PRIDE TORONTO.I am proud to support real diversity and I am not sure PRIDE reflect this anymore#
Foolish Toronto Pride Parade bans police from parade again - they don't realize that having the cops on board is an incredible achievement https://t.co/tVy1kqxJ02
Pride Toronto toots about being included and equality and ditches the Police? No respect for them. AND when you start crying for help are the Police going to be there for you? You bet your high-n’-mighty a** they will. Get over yourselves Pride!
Sorry but this is bullshit. Isn’t pride supposed to be about inclusion?? Urgh. Pride Toronto members won’t allow uniformed police to march in the parade | https://t.co/YMEXMRldN9 https://t.co/qJ6Gh8t8de
The correct title, "Pride Toronto votes to discriminate against the police thus demonstrating that discrimination occurs across all sexual orientations."
The results of this year's vote indicate that the LGBTQ+ community is equally as divided on the subject. With many wanting to practice what the event means to preach, being equality and inclusion. While others have trouble giving the police the green light, considering the ongoing issues with police that members of the LGBTQ+ community and people of colour continue to face. Tensions reached a high point last year after the Church-Wellesley Village disappearances and the Bruce McArthur case.
Since the announcement of the vote, Toronto police have released a statement claiming they "remain committed to maintaining a dialogue with Pride Toronto as well as the larger LGBTQS community to deliver policing services that are inclusive and responsive to the needs of the community regardless of the outcome of one particular vote or event."
While the police won't be allowed to bring a float for the parade or wear their uniforms if they want to join, they can still involve themselves in pride, they just have to be out of uniform. It will definitely be interesting to see how the police's absence impacts this year's parade and whether it will affect attendance.
Source: CBC News