Calgary

Calgary Pride Parade pledge of support: Gay journalist, blogger debate its merit

"I've been gay an awful long time and I look at this and go — there's no way," says a member of Calgary's gay community about new rule which requires everyone who marches in the city's pride parade to sign a declaration of support.

'It makes me uncomfortable in ways I can barely describe,' says journalist David Perlich

Marchers in the 2013 Calgary Pride Parade. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Not everyone in Calgary's gay community is doing cartwheels over a new requirement from Pride Calgary to march in this year's parade.

Participants will have to sign a declaration of support, agreeing to endorse the mission and values of Pride Calgary.

"It makes me uncomfortable in ways I can barely describe," freelance writer David Perlich told the Calgary Eyeopener Tuesday morning during a debate on CBC Radio.

What are they going to do? Take them to court? Like gay court?- Mike Morrison of Mike's Bloggity Blog

Perlich says, at this point, there's no telling what the implications are of signing this kind of document.

And as a journalist, he would never be pressured into signing anything that could affect the way he covers a story.

"Not a chance in hell. I'm gay. I've been gay an awful long time and I look at this and go — there's no way," said Perlich.

Calgary blogger Mike Morrison views the pledge of support as "purely symbolic."

"I get why the gesture exists."

Participants who want to march in Calgary's 2015 pride parade will have to sign a document, agreeing to endorse the mission and values of Pride Calgary.

Morrison says the move is in direct response to Alberta politicians who marched in the 2014 parade, but did not support gay-straight alliances in schools.

"It felt so disingenuous to see people waving the pride flag in September, and then in December saying that we don't deserve equal rights," he said.

 "I've been gay an awful long time and I look at this and go — there's no way."- David Perlich, freelance writer

Morrison thinks Pride Calgary will press politicians to sign the document, but doesn't foresee the organization enforcing the rule for everyone else.

"What are they going to do? Take them to court? Like gay court?"

Still, Perlich thinks this declaration of support is unnecessary.

"If you're a politician and you're willing to be in this parade with some 20-year-old who has sparklers on their head, you're making your declaration anyway."

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