Last week the big news in protests in Toronto was our local Climate Strike Day on September 27th. Mostly youth, tens of thousands of us stood and walked in solidarity with each other, clear that our leaders, political and the private sector, have a responsibility to us to stop the ruin of our planet. It was a hopeful and happy and sombre event.
I was there with my daughter-in-law and grandchildren and the rest of the family was there in spirit.
And I went to a second protest, a counter-protest, the next day. A group of fundamentalist Christians and White Supremacists banded together to walk up Church Street through what is known as the Gay Village to assert their rights to preach their hatred of people who aren’t white and straight. Even to preach at them, publicly.
One group confronted the protesters near their starting point at Church and The Esplanade. Another gathered at Barbara Hall Park in the heart of the Gay Village for a “Love Wins” Rally. 2-300 people gathered to hear the Mayor, Councillors and Provincial and Federal representatives and Candidates declare that while there was a place in Canada and Toronto for free speech, there was no place for hatred.
Then a group of Christian leaders took to the mic to say the same thing and to apologise to the LGBTQ2+ community for the evils inflicted on them in the past in the name of Christianity. The apologies were pointed and heart-felt. Others spoke of the privilege the church has in embracing everyone. I was invited to speak but did not offer an apology. I shared with the crowd that I was tired. Tired of fighting against those who diminish them, tired of those who seek to marginalise the gifts of everyone there, tired. And then said I’m not so tired that I will not stand between them and anyone who seeks to diminish them and marginalise them.
The event ended with the unfurling of a huge gay pride flag as celebration of everyone there. Looks pretty wonderful doesn’t it?
Comments? Questions? email Cameron, firstname.lastname@example.org