Montreal

Montreal Pride wants event to 'remain festive' in wake of Orlando attack

Jean-Sebastien Boudreault, vice-president of the organization, said that so far there are no plans to make changes to the event in the wake of the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Organizers say they aren't worried because Montreal is 'a haven' for the LGBT community

A dancer entertains the crowd during the annual gay pride parade in Montreal, Sunday, August 16, 2015. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Montreal Pride is meeting with the city today to see where it stands as the organization prepares for celebrations in mid-August.

Jean-Sebastien Boudreault, vice-president of the organization, said that so far there are no plans to make changes to the event in the wake of the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

"We want it to remain festive," Boudreault told CBC News.

"We are hoping everything goes as planned."

Boudreault added that if Montreal's pride parade were now, or in the U.S., the stress level would be so high they would definitely be doing things differently.

"We're very lucky in Montreal. Montreal is like a haven for people of the LGBT community," Boudreault said.

"We are a leader in LGBT rights, but there's still a lot to be done."   

He added that the shooting at Pulse strengthened the will of LGBT activists to continue working.

"Everything we've acquired is fragile. It's easily broken," Boudreault said.

"We know how long the road is."

The group has also planned a vigil Thursday night with the group Carré Rose at the corner of Panet and Ste-Catherine streets.

They are hoping to see 5,000 people attend. Mayor Denis Coderre has confirmed he will be there.

Hate-fueled politics

Bill Ryan, a professor of social work at McGill University and international expert in the field of homophobia, said it's important to make sure people remember that the shooting was not just at a nightclub – it was a gay nightclub.

He said the media's first reaction was to mask that it was a gay bar and call it simply "a nightclub."

"We have to make sure people remember that we need to look at ISIS as much as hate-fueled politics," Ryan said.

"Mainstream politicians are saying things that mainstream politicians didn't say before."

with files from Sean Henry

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