A lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender group of Muslims will march in solidarity with Queers Against Israeli Apartheid in the Vancouver Pride parade on Sunday (August 1).
Imtiaz Popat, coordinator of Salaam Vancouver, told the Straight that there are Palestinians in his group.
"Queers in Palestine have multiple jeopardy because they are Palestinian and they don't have rights in their own homeland, plus they're queer: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, whatever," Popat said.
Popat pointed out that earlier this year, Toronto Pride initially prohibited marchers from using the term "Israeli apartheid".
"There is a group of lobbyists out there who don't like activists using the term 'Israeli apartheid'," he said. "Hence, there was pressure put on Toronto Pride to ban the use of that term."
Toronto Pride reversed its decision after an uproar over censorship.
Popat said a local group registered to march in the Vancouver parade as Queers Against Israeli Apartheid to test whether they would be banned by the Vancouver Pride Society.
The VPS accepted the registration.
Today (July 30), Vancouver Queers Against Israeli Apartheid issued a news release, claiming "homophobia and transphobia exist in Israel, in other settler states such as Canada, and across many different borders".
One of the members, Magin Payet Scudellari, said in the news release: "Israel's apartheid system extends gay rights only to some people, based on race and status."
Another member, Caelie Frampton, declared: "We need more masturbation and an end to occupation! We're here to work in solidarity with anticolonial struggles, with queer and trans people leading their own struggles of resistance."
A third member, Proma Tagore, stated that there is "no pride in apartheid".
"Hetero- and gender-normativity collude with capitalism and racism daily to afford humanity, belonging, dignity and life to some at the expense of others," Tagore claimed in the news release.
Meanwhile, the Vancouver Hillel Foundation, which is a Jewish registered charity, is marching in the Vancouver Pride parade for the first time.
Its director of B.C. programs, Pat Johnson, told the Straight yesterday that his group will try to send a message that Israel is "the gay mecca in the Middle East".
Popat questioned this claim, suggesting that LGBT Jewish people may enjoy freedom in Tel Aviv, but not necessarily in other parts of Israel.
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.