A Christian group is planning a march through Toronto's Gay Village
Things are likely to get heated in Toronto's LGBTQ+ Village next weekend, because a Christian group is planning a march down Church St. to promote Christian values.
The group is called Christian Positive Space, and this won't be the first time they've caused upheaval in the Church and Wellesley Village.
Just months ago, an altercation broke out after the founder of the group, Pastor David Lynn, along with other members of religious groups, preached Christian values into a microphone at the community.
A counter-protest group then showed up and a scuffle began. Lynn was was later arrested for disturbing the peace.
According to The Toronto Star, Lynn's group is planning to march down Church St. on Saturday, September 28 because of the religious meaning behind the word “church” and its significance to the Christian faith.
The march is well-known to the public, and it's creating a fair amount of concern.
City councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam posted her own statement about the march on Facebook this past weekend.
In the statement, Wong-Tam said she's been working with the Toronto Police Service, the City's Community Crisis Response, Transportation Services, The 519 and other community partners, including progressive faith leaders, to avert confrontation and violence.
The 519, a city organization dedicated to advocacy for the inclusion of LGBTQ+ communities located on Church St., is already planning a counter-protest.
"Join The 519’s Army of Lovers and other community activists and groups and help us defend Church Street. We will utilize non-violent direct action and civil disobedience tactics and will exercise our right to protest this blatant gathering of hate," the event description for the counter-protest, titled Defend Church Street - All Out Against Hate, reads.
In a public statement, the 519 said there have been several hateful and concerning incidents in the Village lately, including hateful graffiti, hate mail targeting local businesses, homophobic and transphobic violence, and several incidents where street preachers have spewed anti-queer and anti-trans rhetoric at residents.
"The religious right has become adept at furthering their hateful agenda, often hiding behind the rhetoric of love to soften the edges of an agenda that has not changed," they said.
On Saturday at 12 p.m., religious protesters will march down Church St. from The Esplanade to Davenport Rd., right through the Village — and they'll be met with counter-protesters who have no tolerance for hate in their community.
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