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Toronto Pride Might Ban Military and Corporate Floats From Parade

Toronto Pride

Police have already been banned from the 2019 Toronto Pride Parade. 

After previously voting to ban police from marching in uniform, the organizers of Pride Toronto are considering banning military and corporate floats from participating in the annual parade, Gay Star News reports.

One Pride Toronto member, Lisa Amin, drafted four separate motions calling for exclusions from the parade. The first calls for a ban on military participation in the parade.

"Military interventions worldwide disproportionately target, maim, and kill" people of color, the motion reads, according to Gay Star News. "This is not coincidence but rather is a function of and is maintained by legacies of white supremacy and imperialist projects." The motion says the Canadian military is "no exception" and that their presence at the event is potentially triggering and makes some queer and trans attendees feel unsafe.

Amin's second motion called for a stop in allowing the prison industrial complex to participate in the festivities. Amin's third motion called for a ban on corporate floats in the parade.

"There are better ways for corporations to show us their support," the motion reads. "The Sunday parade is too long and as a result is a barrier to participation." Amin called corporate floats a "major reason" for the parade's long runtime.

The final motion asked for Pride Toronto to post all adopted resolutions on its website in the name of transparency.

Amin told Gay Star News she's confident that her motions will be approved, but that they might not be voted on in time for the 2019 parade and may not go into motion until the 2020 event.

Pride Toronto first voted to ban uniformed police from the annual parade in January 2017 after Black Lives Matter Toronto protested the parade and asked that it be made more inclusive for queer and trans people of color.

Their demands included explicit support for Black queer youth, more funding for the LGBTQ+ people of color party, more diversity within Pride Toronto staff and the removal of police froats from the celebration.

BLMTO co-founder Alexandria Williams told Vice at the time that the "glorification of police at Pride is just completely irresponsible and disrespectful to a community that has been heavily policed, heavily controlled, experienced an extreme amount of violence by this force."

After Toronto banned police, gay New York City police officers invited LGBTQ+ Toronto police to march alongside them in the New York City Pride Parade.

Toronto banned police from participating in the parade in 2017 and in 2019. Though they were not banned in 2018, police did withdraw their application to participate to avoid any setbacks with the community.

Whether or not police officers belong at pride celebrations has been an increasingly contentious topic since 2016's Pulse nightclub shooting, which resulted in increased police presence in LGBTQ+ spaces that year and beyond.

Out has contacted Pride Toronto for comment.

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