Pride funding safe for 2012
Pride funding is safe for another year. Although Councillor James Pasternak hinted that he'd submit a motion to make festival funding contingent upon the non-participation of activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA), council came to a compromise that preserves support of the parade and condemns the use of the term "Israeli Apartheid."
This is the second year in a row that Pride funding has been drawn into question on account QuAIA's potential participation. Last year, the group ultimately agreed not to participate so as to avoid jeopardizing the parade and affiliated events. This year, however, the group has announced its intentions to march.
Today's vote thus makes sense. The City has officially distanced itself from QuAIA and maintained its support for one of our most important cultural events without adopting some contingency-based scenario over a decision that organizers have very little control over in the first place (i.e. who decides to show up).
The conclusion of this particular chapter doesn't, however, close the book on this issue. Far from it. In the coming weeks the executive committee will meet to consider a staff report on revisions to the anti-discrimination policy related to the expression "Israeli Apartheid." How exactly that will play out — and whether or not it will impact future Pride funding — is not yet clear, but you can bet we're in for more heated debate.
Photo by Jen Tse