Ottawa school board to ride in first pride parade
Ottawa's public school board will march in its first gay pride parade later this month.
Ottawa-Carleton District school board trustee Donna Blackburn says she hopes more than 100 students, parents and staff will join her and other board participants as they roll along in a yellow bus covered in banners.
Blackburn, who is openly gay, has been pushing for the board to get involved since she was sworn in December 1 last year.
She told CBC News there hasn't been any backlash so far and it was time for the board to step up its endorsement of gay rights.
The board held its first "Pink Day" at many schools this past year, where students wore pink to back the fight against homophobia.
"I just thought it was a natural extension of what the board has been doing for many years now to support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth," said the trustee, who represents the Barrhaven-Knoxdale-Merivale area.
Blackburn said she is ecstatic about the board's choice and believes the event follows its mandate.
"Our board is an open board and an inclusive board and we want all our staff and students to feel proud of who they are," she added.
Capital Pride 2011 runs from Aug. 19 to 28, with the parade capping the event's final day.
With files from the CBC's Ashley Burke