THE BODY POLITIC|
June 1982, No. 84
Curfew imposed on Pride Day partyTORONTO -- Lesbian and Gay Pride Day festivities will be held in Grange Park this June 28 but the city's Neighbourhoods Committee has decided they must end by 6 pm. A policy of the Parks and Recreation Department restricts public gatherings in city parks to the hours of 1 pm to 6 pm, "unless the event is a major celebration' in honor of a recognized event and under the auspices of a community organization." The Lesbian and Gay Pride Day Committee (LGPDC) has asked the Neighbourhoods Committee and city council to reconsider the decision. "It appeared that the Neighbourhoods Committee had agreed to our exemption from this policy due to the importance, magnitude and community support for our event. We are very disappointed with this apparent reversal," a spokesperson for LGPDC said.
Bill Beatty, representing a group of area residents who opposed the event being held in "our park," described the sound level of last year's Pride Day as"incredibly punishing." At a committee meeting he played a tape of loud music that he claimed was recorded in his home during the celebration.
Gary Kinsman, of Gay Liberation Against the Right Everywhere (GLARE), said "We responded immediately to complaints about the sound last year and are more than willing to allow supervision of this year's event to ensure against excessive noise."
"It isn't just the noise, but I feel an etement of homophobia exists," said Alderman Gordon Chong, who sits on the Neighbourhoods Committee. "The Chinese community holds similar events which are not always local in nature," he explained.
Alderman Andrew Paton, who compared allowing Lesbian and Gay Pride Day in the park to "imposing pollution on the neighbourhood," said the committee should not "bend over backwards" for the gay community. "We should respect the neighbours' complaints by refusing the application," he urged.
Harvey Hamburg, of the Toronto Gay Community Council, scoffed at Paton's allegation that the gay community is receiving special treatment. "We conform to the regulation's and should be allowed to use the park like any other community," Hamburg emphasized.
Kyle Rae of LGPDC sees it as ridiculous that the Neighbourhoods Committee is allowing a few residents to determine the use of a park that belongs to the whole city: "These people have access to the Grange all year. We want it for just one day. Who is being unreasonable?
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