Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

May 21, 2010 17:28 ET

Pride Toronto Relents and Does the Right Thing, Says Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 21, 2010) - Reports that Pride Toronto has formally banned Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (Quaia) from marching in the Gay Pride parade by the slimmest of majorities indicates the Pride board still has an inherent problem in dealing with antisemitism and expressions of hatred in the Pride parade.

"It is unfortunate and frankly disappointing that it took the threat of funding withdrawal by the City of Toronto to change the Board's mind about permitting Quaia to participate in the parade," says Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC). "However, if the reports are accurate, I believe Pride Toronto has done the right thing by thwarting Quaia's attempts to turn a joyful celebration of gay pride into an antisemitic protest march. I expect Pride to stay true to its word, and look forward to a hate-free parade in which all members of Toronto's multicultural community feel welcomed to participate," he adds.

Quaia's participation in the parade jeopardized city funding for the event by violating both city and Pride anti-discrimination policies. This action sends a strong message that publicly funded events cannot be hijacked by groups or individuals with private agendas.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact
    Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
    Stacey Starkman
    Communications Coordinator
    416.524.3287