Kelowna Pride reflects on rules for politicians’ participation – Kelowna News


Pride and politicians

Cindy Blanche

The Kelowna Pride Society is gearing up for Pride Week in just over a month and is also looking into whether rules need to be put in place regarding the participation of politicians in pride events.

The question was raised in town hall last month.

“In the letter to the Coalition Pride Society, there were two salient points. One was the guidelines and policies for engaging and interacting with politicians in the future, ”said Kelowna Pride Communications Director Bobby Bissessar.

“Personally, I was at the town hall and it was something that… a point of view that I also shared. We would take a close look at how we engage with politicians, what that actually looks like. It’s yet to be determined, but it’s something we’ll be looking at closely.

Another recommendation from City Hall was to inform Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray that she was “not welcome at this year’s events.” Gray angered members of the local LGBTQ + community earlier this summer when she was one of 63 MPs voting against Bill C-6, which would ban conversion therapy.

“In terms of unwanted people, this is something we haven’t taken a position on yet and we need to discuss it as a board of directors,” Bissessar said.

“What I can say about the letter is that it only highlighted a few recommendations from the town hall. Yes of course they have certain opinions as well but as a society yes it is unfortunate that someone in our community voted against banning conversion therapy … but I wouldn’t want to – cancel any statement or decision of the board of directors.

Pride week takes place September 10-19, and organizers are poised to change quickly if the current COVID-19 outbreak worsens.

Bissessar notes that this is a concern.

“We are monitoring closely and will work closely with Interior Health and follow all provincial guidelines. We are able to pivot and be nimble at all times, so we also have backup plans going on. We are currently finalizing our schedule, but we will also have tentative worst-case plans. “

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