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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Censorship Wolf Cry

Once again, the organization known as "Queers against Israeli Apartheid" has chosen to insist on pushing their bizarre agenda into Toronto's gay pride parade.
  But this time, people are actually speaking up in opposition and QuAIA is steaming angry. Last year, their honcho El-Faroukh Khaki was even one of the grand marshalls of the parade. I think QuAIA's agenda is ludicrous for a litany of reasons. They should be required to tone it down because their politics have nothing to do with gay rights and they are promoting hatred of a country they know little about.

Israel is the only country in the region that permits gay people to live as free citizens. In the oh-so-oppressed "Palestine", gay people best keep quiet or they will be spending a long time in some of the harshest prisons on the planet. Israel has long been a safe haven for people forced out of their nations because of their orientation.

But QuAIA doesn't care as much about gay rights- it is a flagship for leftist and pro-Islamic causes. They bandy around words like "apartheid" to confuse compassionate people into hating others based on their nationality. Why aren't they protesting regimes that openly execute people , like I don't know, the entire Arab world? At least that would be a real gay rights issue.

And sponsors haven't asked QuAIA to withdraw, only to tone down on the hate messages and not to disrupt the event that should be more of a celebration after they hijacked it last year. The people and corporations who fund the event DO have a say in what goes on and if they want to exclude or tone down ultra-radical fringe groups, that IS their call. Would QuAIA and its supporters be crying censorship if a queer skinhead (yes, there is such a thing) group was asked not to wear "White Power" shirts? When I marched with the AIDS Committee of Toronto in 1997, our signage was required to meet standards. It has always been the case.

Modern Pride celebrations are about revelry, about winning a battle for gay rights. Not about division, hatred, or foreign land disputes. There are tons of pro-Palestine and pro-Israel marches throughout the year in Toronto. There is a place for opposing views on political issues, and this one needs to remain in its place.

Oh, QuAIA, I'll march with you guys in the first ever Gaza City Pride Parade, which will happen NEVER.

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