'Shocked' councillor withdraws Straight Pride motion

The city of Yellowknife rescinded its proclamation of Heterosexual Day at a special meeting Monday.

The city of Yellowknife rescinded its proclamation of Heterosexual Day at a special meeting Monday.

Councillor Alan Woytuik introduced the proclamation last week in response to a request for the city to proclaim Gay Pride Day.

      Council Comments     
Alan Woytuik:
"I am not anti-gay and I'm not advocating denial of anyone's rights or promoting discrimination. In fact, my position is just the opposite. I fully support the fundamental principle of democracy that everyone should be treated equal. I feel many people have misinterpreted the intent behind my request. The proclamation was in response to Out North's request for Gay Pride Day, but it was not intended as a protest against the ideals of Out North."

Mark Heyck:
"I'm sure no one can imagine a councillor proclaiming National White Man's day in response to National Aboriginal day. Or Caucasian Heritage Month in response to Black Heritage Month. But it seemed okay to proclaim Heterosexual Day in response to Gay Pride day. That tells me we have some way to go before we can consider ourselves a fully inclusive society."

Mayor Gord van Tighem:
"It's allowed some communication within the community that, some of it was positive and constructive. Some of it will take a while to get over."

At the time, he said there's no reason why heterosexual people shouldn't be recognized.

Woytuik's request made headlines across the country.

Today he withdrew the his request for a proclamation.

He says he didn't mean it as an attack on anyone and he apologized to anybody who he offended.

"I'm a little shocked over all the attention it received, I saw it as a simple request to treat everyone the same and it was misinterpreted and kind of blown way out of proportion from what the original intent was so, I feel a little shocked about that."

Over the weekend, Woytuik met with members of OutNorth, a group that represents Yellowknife gays and lesbians.

He says he understands their perspective.

But he says he still believes that proclaiming Gay Pride Day promotes inequality and animosity in the community.