B.C. Liberals banned from marching in Vancouver Pride parade, but foreskin advocates allowed to return

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      The Vancouver Pride Society won't let the governing B.C. Liberals in their annual parade, which takes place on August 2.

      That's because nobody on the B.C. Liberals' board of directors has signed the society's Trans Equality Now pledge promising equal rights to transgender and gender-variant people.

      Three times since 2009, B.C. Liberal MLAs have refused to support NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert's bills to offer explicit protection for the trans community in the B.C. Human Rights Code.

      On July 20, Chandra Herbert once again introduced a bill in the legislature to add "gender identity" and "gender expression" to the list of grounds for which discrimination would be prohibited under the code.

      Earlier this month, Attorney General Suzanne Anton claimed in the legislature that even though these words are not mentioned in the code, it "protects all persons, no matter what their gender identity is".

      Herbert replied that the human rights codes in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Northwest Territories all provide explicit protection for gender identity and expression.

      "This government almost stands alone in refusing to support transgender British Columbians," Chandra Herbert said. "Why will this government not act when people across this nation are standing up against hatred, raising the rainbow flag of inclusion and standing up for their transgender citizens? Why do the B.C. Liberals refuse to do the same?"

      (Left to right) NDP MPs Libby Davies and Randall Garrison and NDP MLAs Mable Elmore and Spencer Chandra Herbert support amending human-rights laws.
      Craig Takeuchi

      In a 2012 news release, the B.C. NDP acknowledged that "protections for trans people have been 'read into' the human rights code".

      However, the party argued at the time that given high rates of violence and the magnitude of discrimination in housing and employment, these protections "need to be more clearly written out".

      The Vancouver Pride Society's recently announced TEN pledge requires a member of a party's board of directors or equivalent governing body to sign on behalf of the party.

      In addition, any elected official or candidate must also sign to be permitted to march in the Vancouver Pride Parade.

      The Conservatives will have to sign the TEN Pledge if they want to return to this year's parade.
      Charlie Smith

      “The TEN Pledge returns the VPS to its roots and the Society is taking a firm and public stance in support of a marginalized part of our community,” VPS vice president Chrissy Taylor said in a news release.

      It's not good enough for a riding association to sign. According to an article in Daily Xtra, the B.C. Liberal Vancouver–West End constituency association signed the pledge and was going to participate in the Vancouver Pride parade. However, it was later kicked out.

      The pledge will also likely rule out federal Conservatives from participating.

      In the past, Premier Christy Clark and federal Conservatives in Vancouver Centre have walked in the parade.

      Meanwhile, a group that was banned from the parade for the past two years has been allowed to return this year.

      The Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project/Foreskin Pride was prohibited after its spokesperson, Glen Callender, revealed his penis in a full-frontal run in 2012.

      After a two-year absence, Glen Callender will rejoin the Pride march.
      Charlie Smith

      Callender has maintained that he had actually cleared this in advance with the parade director, but it ended up causing so much controversy that CAN-FAP was banned in 2013 and 2014.

      This year, Callender has agreed to adhere to an explicit no-nudity clause in the parade. He decided to do this even though nudity was tolerated in the event from its inception until 2012.

      "I think this unfortunate burst of prudery came from within the Pride org itself, which is a very sad thing for Vancouver's LGBT community, because we now find ourselves in the almost unimaginable position of having a Pride society that is to the right of both City Hall and the VPD when it comes to tolerating harmless public nudity," Callender noted. 

      Comments

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      16 Comments

      Prude

      Jul 23, 2015 at 10:11am

      The more I hear of this Callander dude, the more I dislike him.
      I'm all for what he stands for in terms of circumcision. But a) does he have to go to a concert aimed at young girls (1 Direction) and hold a foreskin pride rally? And b) the LGBT community isn't all about getting naked in public (especially when the pride parade starting to become a family event - yes, LGBT people have families). If we want to be naked, we can go to wreck beach.
      I like the dancing men in speedos, can do without them being naked.

      ursa minor

      Jul 23, 2015 at 12:06pm

      I am repeatedly disgusted at how political parties in Vancouver feel need to turn community events like parades into campaign events.

      Can we get back to having elected officials all march together, which used to be the case at Lunar New Year parades, or the traditional protocols of one representative of each level of government, preferably the most local representatives?

      The Government of Canada, The Province of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver should be represented at local parades. Join the party, but keep your party politics at home.

      Mother-of-Boys

      Jul 23, 2015 at 12:52pm

      Foreskins are unsanitary because it creates smegma, particularly for small boys. It also gets inflamed if masturbation is too vigorous and can become a medical emergency. Ask your doctor.

      The foreskin is about as useful as the appendix .... #cutitoff ....!!!

      James 3D

      Jul 23, 2015 at 1:15pm

      ATTENTION Mother-of-Boys: If you think foreskin is "unsanitary" then CUT YOUR OWN FORESKIN OFF! Children need to be protected from such irrational nonsense. Any human being can be taught to wash the most pleasurable parts of their own bodies. In fact they don't even need to be taught, it's pleasurable and instinctual to clean one's genitals.

      WmS

      Jul 23, 2015 at 6:23pm

      Seems like discrimination from a group that should know better!! Is Pride no longer about all individuals and beliefs being equal Is it not great that we have a government that clearly is willing to accept all people as equals Check Russia We don't want governments telling us how to think, do we really want Pride organizers doing it?!

      Barry William Teske

      Jul 23, 2015 at 7:50pm

      @Mother-of-Boys

      Why would we ever need to educate the young men of the world with self respect, healthy choices and that of others?
      Lets just cut that out right now.
      Now there's a way of thinking that's going to save lots of money...

      Laural Eacott

      Jul 23, 2015 at 8:32pm

      Flippen' Fantastic everyone!!!! Well, played, LOVE IT!!!

      Bobbie

      Jul 23, 2015 at 10:39pm

      Good on Christy for standing up to these bullies who fly under the false "equality flag". Excluding people flies in the face of "equality" ?. Such a young movement on the public stage, unlike our political structure, yet this "marginalized group" already uses it's power for wrongful exclusion. If I was Christy, I would file a tort claim in court for this sort of conduct. Shame.

      4skin4life

      Jul 24, 2015 at 4:22am

      Mother of boys disgusts me. Her poor sons. Calendar is right . Circumcision is abuse. Leave boys sexual organs alone

      Dear Straight

      Jul 24, 2015 at 4:54am

      Would you post a comment from a father advocating for FGM? Your censor-meter is out of whack.