Tim Ell, Vancouver Pride parade director, resigns
'The pledge is really important,' Pride president says
A member of the organization that runs the Vancouver Pride parade has resigned because he disagreed with the parade's decision to bar the B.C Liberal party unless it signed a pledge supporting transgender equality legislation.
Tim Ell resigned last Saturday from the Vancouver Pride Society's board, said Tim Richards, president of the Vancouver Pride Society. Earlier this year, pride festival organizers announced that anyone wishing to march in the parade must sign the pledge.
Last week, organizers released a statement saying "no political party will be getting any special treatment when it comes to participating in this year's Pride Parade."
Ell told CBC the pledge request went too far by bringing partisan politics to the parade.
Pledge is partisan, former director says
"Pride is a political thing. It's always been a political protest. But it shouldn't be a partisan thing and that's what its become."
Richards disagreed with Ell's assessment.
"We believe, as a society, that the pledge is really important, and equality is really important to trans-and-gender-variant people," Richards said. "We are a human rights organization.
The B.C. Liberals have not signed the pledge supporting the private member's bill introduced by B.C. NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert.The bill calls for the specific inclusion of transgender and gender-variant people in the B.C. Human Rights Code.
The Liberal party's executive director, Laura Miller, said earlier that it didn't sign the pledge because the code is already inclusive of transgender and gender-variant people.