Dear Pride Supporters,
This article left my jaw hanging this morning... It's a Star article, describing the reactions of the Conservative party to a tourism stimulus grant that was given to support Pride Week, here in Toronto.
Pride week draws in millions of tourists who come to celebrate diversity and recognition of the equality for all persons. For some who hail from more "socially conservative" countries/regions, Canada is held in high esteem, and Pride week is considered the pinnacle celebration. I have a friend who runs a Bed and Breakfast, and his inn is full to the rafters before, during, and after pride. His visitors hail from all over the world, many of them being from our neighbouring US. During Pride week, bars and restaurants in the Church/Wellesley area are perpetually full of thirsty, hungry customers... the revenues from Pride are relied upon to turn accounting book ink from red to black. For the tourism engine in Toronto, Pride week provides a nice salvo to help it run smoothly.
Since I moved to Toronto, I've partaken in Pride week events every year. During Pride week, Torontonians who support Pride are encouraged to hang rainbow striped flags in their windows or on their homefronts. Honestly, I find it so overwhelming when I tour around Toronto during Pride week and see all those welcoming flags... It's like seeing a zillion little candles, welcoming weary travellers a place to rest in the dark hours of night. Somehow Toronto just feels more welcoming, safer even, during Pride.
Apparently, some of the "Social Conservatives" from Stephen Haper's Conservative party were incensed that a Federal grant was given to a cultural group that does not reflect "family values" and "pro-life" agendas. The article is below if you want to read it yourself.
Back in the day, "Conservative" in the political sense USED to mean economically conservative. Since when did political conservatism come to represent such ambiguous and arbitrary ideas as "family values?"
As far as I'm concerned, no government is allowed to dictate what happens in my bedroom. Furthermore, no government, sorry, no POLITICAL PARTY is entitled to decree exclusive ownership to the definition of morality, nor are they allowed to force me to live under the strictures of their definition.
I can make choices about my conduct and morality on my own, thank you very much. And if what I do is determined to be against the values of our vast, nature loving nation, as these values our etched out in our semi-secular laws, well then, try me in a court of peers and if I'm found guilty, just put me in jail. That's what our justice system is there for, to create a climate where ones conduct can be tried and judged against existing, writ rules, among their peers.
I'm adding this to my list of reasons NOT to vote Conservative. As if I needed more.
Incensed at the audacity of a minority of people within a minority government,
PS. Harper, pretty bold of you to let this kind of shit storm leak out of your office. You must be feeling confident lately.