Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

March 10, 2010 11:27 ET

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies Commends Pride Toronto's Initiative to Exclude Expressions of Hate From the Pride Parade

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 10, 2010) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) commends the initiative on the part of Pride Toronto to ban messages of violence and hatred from the Pride Parade. The decision to focus on the theme "Celebrating 30 Years of Pride in Toronto" ensures the event will continue to be a joyous celebration of gay rights.

"Video clips from last year's Pride Parade, in which Israel was equated with Nazi Germany, were chilling and set the tone for a very negative politicization of a heretofore inclusive event," says Avi Benlolo, President & CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies. "We are so pleased to see that Pride Toronto has recognized that the fomenting of hatred and slanderous speech has no place in an event dedicated to acceptance and celebration," he added.

This decision to safeguard the welcoming and festive atmosphere of the Parade, rather than turning the event into a political battleground, will go a long way to helping Jewish gay rights activists once again feel welcome in the parade. FSWC looks forward to a clear statement from Pride Toronto that the events of last year, including the incitement to hatred against Jews and the mislabeling of Israel as an apartheid state, will not be accepted at future Pride events.

For more information on this issue please visit http://reclaimingourpride.ca/.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center
    Stacey Starkman
    Communications Coordinator
    416.864.9735 x 32
    sstarkman@fswc.ca