British Columbia

Vancouver Pride Parade bars B.C. Liberals over pledge

Vancouver Pride organizers says the B.C. Liberals will not be allowed to participate in this year's pride parade unless they sign a pledge supporting transgender equality legislation.

Parade organizers say no exceptions made to new rule regarding transgender and gender-variant pledge

Vancouver Pride Parade organizers say the B.C. Liberals will not be allowed to participate in the parade unless they sign a pledge to support trans and gender-variant people. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The Vancouver Pride Society says the B.C. Liberals will not be allowed to participate in this year's pride parade unless they sign a pledge supporting transgender equality legislation.

Earlier this year pride festival organizers announced that anyone wishing to march in the parade must sign the pledge. 

On Wednesday, 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."

"If they refuse to stand up for LGBTQ2+ rights, they have no place at the parade."

The B.C. Liberals have not signed the pledge supporting the private member's bill, which was 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 party's executive director, Laura Miller, said it hasn't signed the pledge because the code is already inclusive of transgender and gender-variant people. 

The statement from the Vancouver Pride Society clarified exactly whom from the party must sign the pledge: 

  • A member of the political party's board of directors or equivalent governing body must sign the pledge on behalf of the party, as opposed to a riding association, electoral district, or equivalent body.
  • Any elected official or candidate for election must also sign the pledge to participate in the parade.

The West End B.C. Liberals riding association has signed the pledge and hoped to participate in the parade, which takes place in the riding.

The application was initially accepted, but later rejected based on the clarified criteria. 

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