QuAIA to march in 2012 Pride parade
In a move that's sure to be cause for controversy, Pride Toronto's Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) ruled that Queers Against Israeli Apartheid will be permitted to participate in this year's Pride Parade. City of Toronto funding for the parade is not contingent on the group's non-participation this year, but the presence of the group is likely to result in at least some tension this weekend. The panel has not made its reasoning public at this time, promising to do so at a later date.
Press Release from Pride Toronto:
Pride Toronto announced today that it has received a ruling from its arm's-length Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) that Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) will receive a permit to march in this year's Pride parade on Sunday, July 1. The decision comes as a result of a DRP hearing earlier this week on the complaint against QuAIA and the request that they not be permitted to march in this year's Pride parade.
"Pride Toronto is aware of the politically and emotionally sensitive nature of this issue for all parties involved. In line with the ruling of the Dispute Resolution Panel, and Pride Toronto's stated commitment to abide by the outcome of the process, the Board of Directors will respect the DRP's decision and will authorize a permit for QuAIA to march in this year's Pride parade," said Luka Amona, Pride Toronto Board co-chair.
Last year, Pride Toronto established a Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) process to provide an objective, transparent appeal mechanism to review and resolve complaints about participation in the Pride parade.
"Pride Toronto has taken extraordinary measures in its commitment to diversity, fairness and inclusiveness to address any concerns. We have made the Dispute Resolution Panel available to work through issues where conflicts amongst participants may arise," said Francisco Alvarez, Pride Toronto Board co-chair. "We are confident that all parties have had a fair hearing and that the complaint has received due process."
Pride Toronto is confident that the officers understood their roles and the requirement for impartiality. Appointments to the DRP were recommended by a Community Advisory Panel and approved by Pride Toronto's Board of Directors. Officers on the hearing panel were selected in accordance with a system laid out in the rules of the process in which all parties agreed to participate. All panel members serve on a volunteer basis as a service to the community.
The DRP was a key recommendation of the Community Advisory Panel (CAP) report, creating a process whereby an arms-length panel of experts in law and arbitration would make an impartial decision regarding disputes that would be binding on all parties, including Pride Toronto.
Released in time for implementation for this year's parade, the panel's decision can be downloaded here. Its reasons will follow at a later date.