Every year at the “gay pride” parade marchers dress in various objectionable apparel, such as questionable clothing, as well as topless women, and even exposing a full frontal view.
A TDSB trustee, Sam Sotiropoulos, presented a motion asking the Board to write an official letter to the mayor and Toronto City Council to ask “whether or not the public “exposure” law of Canada will be upheld and enforced at future Pride events in which the TDSB participates.”
His motion was decisively defeated by the school board, which did not debate the matter, but rather forced a quick vote on it. The motion’s failure was met with cheers from gathered “gay pride” parade supporters.
Instead of stopping the “exposure” shown to the children and everyone else, a motion of support for the Parade was passed. It also encouraged children to support the parade as “a celebration and a political event that has greatly added to the richness of the city of Toronto.”
Sotiropoulos told AM640 that he did not consider his motion’s defeat as loss. “It was a victory,” he said, “a small miracle,” that six trustees actually voted for it. He said that last year none had voted in support and hopes that next year his motion will succeed.
Sotiropoulos has faced strong opposition from trustees, teachers, and ratepayers. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation has called on the Toronto District School Board to launch an investigation into his conduct.
Brian Lilley of Sun News on the other hand has called the TDSB , “a bizarre, sick and twisted organization that suffers from a lack of sane leadership.”
Although trustees had stated that it was not the board’s place to “meddle in the affairs of the police or city council,” the board has been sponsoring a group in the Pride parade for the last eighteen years at a cost of around $8000 a year.
The board’s education director, Donna Quan, had defended the board’s participation in the parade in an email to school board staff.
She said that exposing all of your body parts at the parade “started as a liberation protest that rejects shame, bias and judgments for people celebrating themselves for who they are.”
Section 174 of the Canadian Criminal Code forbids public exposure, where it offends against public decency or order, a law that many say is exceedingly vague.
Section 173.2 states, “Every person who, in any place, for a self gratification purpose, exposes his or her private organs to a person who is under the age of 16 years” is guilty of an indictable offense.
Sotiropoulos and other critics of the mass “exposure” at all of the parades highlight the fact that it is often billed as “family friendly,” a point they note is supported by the TDSB’s own participation in the event.
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