A petition launched by Borderland Pride, requesting reparations from a controversial Emo town council meeting on May 12, has nearly surpassed its goal of 1500 signatures in its first five days.
The petition was launched in reaction to an Emo Town council decision to reject Borderland Pride’s request for a proclamation of support for Pride Month, by a vote of 3-2.
The proclamation was provided by Borderland Pride, and requested that the Township declare June Pride Month, and display a rainbow Pride flag for one week.
Identical proclamations have been distributed to municipalities throughout the district.
Emo councillor Lincoln Dunn motioned that the proclamation be accepted as written and Lori Ann Shortreed seconded.
However, Councillor Harrold Boven wanted more time to consider the issue, and suggested it be revisit at a future meeting.
Warren Toles wanted to forward an alternate motion, similar to what the Township adopted last year.
However, the wording caused controversy at the time, because although the proclamation passed, it was stripped of all supportive language. The motion to adopt last year’s wording failed to get a seconder. The councillors also wanted clarity on a discussion, tabled last year, to not accept proclamations or flag requests from any group. Mayor McQuaker was the deciding vote to reject the proclamation, citing that a Pride flag shouldn’t be flown, because a flag is not flown for straight people.
Borderland Pride launched their petition, on the grounds that the Township’s vote was “discriminatory, and in contradiction of the [Ontario Human Rights] Code,” which prohibits discrimination based on the sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and family status.
The petition is demanding that Emo council:
1. Make a public, unreserved apology to their citizens for the homophobic comments and actions taken at their meeting on May 12, 2020;
2. Require councillors to complete training on topics related to diversity, inclusion, and human rights, with a focus on LGBTQ2 issues; and
3. Adopt the resolution, as drafted and submitted by Borderland Pride for the May 12, 2020 meeting of Council.
The petition can be found at www.change.org/EmoPride.