CQGL to march in Pride Parade with homophobic quotes on placards
Always ready to make a political statement for the LGBT community in Québec, the Conseil québécois des gais et lesbiennes (CQGL) is getting ready for the parade by printing placards with homophobic quotes and photos from politicians around the world.
They hope to inspire the community to remain “vigilant” and to raise awareness about the 80 countries where homosexuality is still punishable by law.
“If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement,” said US Senator Michele Bachmann in 2004. Now in the running for the Republican Party’s presidential candidacy, Bachmann has also come under fire for saying that gays are part of Satan’s plan, and for her husband Marcus Bachmann’s clinic offering “reparative therapy” to turn gays straight. Bachmann is one of 6 internationals and one Canadian politician who will have their discriminatory and hateful statements emblazoned on placards carried by the CQGL’s volunteers on Sunday LGBT Pride March in Montréal.
But it’s not just the reviled Bachmann who gets her words shown for what they are. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, whose crusade to defund arts and community organizations included statements harkening back to the early 80’s, in which he claimed that only injection drug-users and gays contract HIV. On the more intellectually insidious side, France’s right-wing presidential candidate Christine Boutin eats her words about societies that accept homosexuality being “decadent.” Besides the obvious raging homophobia of politicians from Poland, Turkey, and Jamaica, Italy’s Alessandra Mussolini (yes, the dictator’s granddaughter) gets her own placard in which she states that being a fascist is not as bad as being a homo.
The placards serve as a warning that political personalities who want to turn back the civil rights clock are more and more influential “that it is possible to imagine. Steve Foster, President and director of the CQGL, adds that while Pride is a great time to celebrate our differences, it’s also important to recognize that almost half the world’s LGBT population have no civil rights, and that we have to keep a watch on the homophobes here at home. To that effect, Foster also reminds us of rabidly conservative Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott’s insistence that transgender people suffer from mental illness and that the Trans Rights Bill (which almost became law this year before the demise of Harper’s minority government) was “dangerous.” Vellacott is a homophobic firebrand whose status in the Harper government will certainly increase as the Conservatives majority is now cemented in Parliament.
The CQGL is a non-profit lobby group and media watchdog for LGBT issues in Québec. They have previously made public releases against voting for Harper’s conservatives and in support of the Trans Rights Bill C-389. Mr. Foster was instrumental in the approval of Québec’s Anti-homophobia action plan in May, 2011.
You can join the CQGL and see their contingent in this Sunday’s parade, which leaves from the corner of Guy and deMaisonneuve Sunday Aug 14th at 1pm.