A couple of months ago a motion was brought to the table at the Board of Directors Meeting of the Toronto Real Estate Board . It was suggested that TREB show some visibility in the Toronto Pride Parade , one of the largest Parades in Toronto and North America. There was great support and the decision was made to have a float that “Celebrated the Diversity” of all our members as TREB celebrates its 90th year. The goal has and remains the same. TREB is a diverse group and has never been exclusionary.
I am proud that the TREB Board of Directors voted to participate in the Pride Parade. The theme of TREB “Celebrating Diversity” makes me proud to be a Gay member of TREB and a Jewish Gay member of TREB. This is a first in the history of the Toronto Real Estate Board and monumental for some of our members. TREB is making a social statement by having a float in the Pride Parade.
“No good dead goes unpunished” however and recently a controversy erupted because of a reversal of a decision by the volunteers sitting on the Pride Committee. That reversal would allow the participation of a group that is high-jacking the social message of PRIDE and Diversity and making a political statement about the perception of the Israeli treatment of the Palestinian population.
The Pride Parade is known for having numerous groups marching and numerous messages, some in conflict with each other…
The Toronto Real Estate Board could and may pull its participation in the Pride Parade. If we do, few of our members and the public will be aware, however if we hang in and remember our reasons for being there, the one million people who usually attend Pride will see the message that the “90 Year Old Toronto Real Estate Board Celebrates the Diversity of all its members”.
I would hope that the members of the public who are concerned with the political messages becoming part of this 30 year event, complain to the organizers of the Pride Parade, I know that I will be doing so.
If you want to be more active, show your support to groups like Kulanu. Their web site has a full program of ways you can help and participate.
If you would like to march behind the “TREB Celebrates Diversity” float please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Your registration will be confirmed via email.
I think that the openly gay candidate for the Mayor of Toronto, George Smitherman said it well:
“I have been a longstanding supporter of Pride – and all that it represents as a powerful symbol of unity, inclusiveness and diversity. I find it entirely objectionable that the parade is being hijacked and threatened by a sideshow that has nothing to do with Pride itself. Unfortunately there are still those in our city who would look for any reason to deny funding and support for Pride, and this only plays into their hands. I reject categorically the term ‘Israeli Apartheid’ – it is as odious a term as it is divisive. The unfortunate reality is the previous ban was not enforceable by a volunteer organization and the entire event was in jeopardy. Pride is too important an event to be hijacked. I will march in Pride – as I’ve done in each of the last 24 years – in solidarity with the LGBT community and in proud celebration of the progress Toronto’s gay community has achieved.”
More from Tom Lebour, President of TREB at http://www.yourhome.ca/homes/realestate/article/828627–lebour-celebrate-diversity-during-pride-week
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