Calgary Pride to allow individual politicians to march in parade, not parties

Jul 31 2019, 9:00 pm

While Calgary Pride is standing behind its decision to ban political parties from marching in the 2019 parade, that doesn’t mean you won’t some familiar politicians among the colourful ranks.

A July 24 release stated that only one party actually made the cut after being weighed by a blind jury (the NDP) and that including only one party would send the message that “some political parties would be unfairly perceived as against LGBTQ2S+ rights” and that “community members who did not vote for the NDP might see their place in our community as less than.”

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However, Calgary Pride made some clarifications in a July 29 release, stating that individual politicians would still be welcome to march so long as they are invited by “community partners whose mandates directly serve the LGBTQ2S+ community.”

These politicians will be welcome to march alongside the group that invited them and will be allowed to wear whatever they would like — including identifying markers for their party.

The politicians will not, however, be allowed to carry banners or signs promoting said parties, according to the release.

“Calgary Pride doesn’t leave anyone behind,” the release states.

“If community members wish to march in the parade, we do everything we can to accommodate that desire, which has become (in many ways) a right of passage for those of us from the community.”

The same release also noted that Calgary Pride had actually denied the United Conservative Party’s application to march prior to the jury process, having written a letter to the party in June.

“The letter was sent to the UCP in June and in July, for the first time in Canadian history, the UCP became the first governing political party to roll back LGBTQ2S+ rights,” the release stated.

Calgary Pride had also sent a letter recommending to ban conversion therapy within Alberta immediately and to reverse Bill 8, stating in the release that “we recognize there are allies within the UCP party and we are abundantly grateful for their efforts; we continue to make ourselves available to any and all conversations that help advance these recommendations and support the work of those allies.”

“Once these recommendations have been met, we will consider reopening the conversation about their representatives marching in the Calgary Pride Parade.”

The 10-day Calgary Pride Festival will take place from August 23 to September 2 with the parade landing on Sunday, September 1.