Giorgio Mammoliti, a Toronto city councillor and mayoral candidate in the upcoming municipal election, has officially motioned to withdraw funding from Toronto Pride, one of North America’s largest gay pride festivals and a massive tourism boost for the city. Mammoliti’s proposal comes with a condition, however—a little ultimatum that would let him micromanage which groups are allowed to march in the Pride parade.
You see, Toronto Pride, like many gay groups, is currently involved in some community infighting. The sort of gay drama that would make a drag queen proud. Specifically, it’s over whether or not to vet parade banners to regulate exactly how tolerant versus free-speechy everything is—or something like that; I don’t know all the details.
What I do know is that Mammoliti, not satisfied with leaving the community to manage these things on its own like it always does, has decided to leverage the minor controversy and attempt the defunding of the festival from the city’s budget entirely.
The gist of the motion is this: If a group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, whose controversial signs were a sore spot for some community members last year, is allowed to march in the Pride parade, then the City of Toronto’s 2010 “funding and support” of the festival will be revoked entirely.
Now, Mammoliti has a documented history of anti-gay attitudes. He once dismissed gay relationships in a discussion about human rights by declaring that our “body part’s aren’t complementary; they don’t fit together.” (Err… Should we explain it to him? I really hope that won’t require a diagram.)
He also went on to quote from a bizarre sado-masochism manual, as if all gay people—and no straight people—are into that sort of thing. “What does that say about the [gay] community?” he asked, rhetorically.
Not sure about that one, but it does makes me think. What do weaselly city council motions from Toronto mayoral candidates say about the suit-wearing community?
- It’s official: showdown at city hall over Pride funding [Xtra]
- Giorgio’s Same-Sex Media Flashback [Toronto Election News]