On June 24, Lesbian and Gay Pride Day was celebrated with a parade down Yonge Street in Toronto. Toronto writer David Pederson was given space in the Globe to do a promotional piece on the event. According to him, 30,000 people marched, danced, rolled or whistled their way down the street, behind a man on roller skates and wearing a dress. Other sources put the figure at half that or lower.
The theme for the day was “All Means Necessary,” taken from a statement made by John Crosbie when he was Justice Minister four years ago; he promised then that Ottawa would take “all necessary measures to ensure that sexual orientation is a prohibited ground of discrimination” in all areas of federal jurisdiction.
Pederson quoted psychologists as saying that a public march gives the gay person a feeling of solidarity and togetherness, and also raises awareness about the “gay world.” It is also a good may to communicate: it sends out messages about the number and nature of homosexuals.
“Is anybody listening?” Pederson asked. David MacDonald, MP for Rosedale and chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on AIDS, evidently is. MacDonald has recommended including sexual orientation in federal human rights legislation. Unfortunately, Pederson said support for homosexual rights is not growing.” So, until the rest of society does something to end discrimination, lesbians and gay men will get together once a year to celebrate their culture.”
“Leaders like Mr. MacDonald are rare, he added.”