Ryan Clayton, a leading local advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, welcomes Sidney’s decision to recognize Pride Week in 2020 (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Ryan Clayton, a leading local advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, welcomes Sidney’s decision to recognize Pride Week in 2020 (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Local LGBTQ+ advocate welcomes Sidney’s decision to recognize Pride Week

Sidney announced its decision in the Town’s updated strategic plan

A leading local advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community welcomes Sidney’s decision to recognize Pride Week in 2020.

Ryan Clayton, who has advised the City of Vancouver and the District of Saanich on issues concerning the LGBTQ+ community, calls Sidney’s decision “wonderful news” that highlights the role of municipalities in leading on such issues.

“I work in Sidney and live in Saanich and both communities have done a lot in the last couple years to include and recognize LGBTQ+ folks and it’s really heartwarming to see,” he said.

RELATED: Sidney to recognize Pride Week in 2020

This said, he also acknowledged that more work remains ahead. “It’s amazing that 50 years after [the Stonewall Riots in New York City], we still have places that don’t set aside time to acknowledge the contributions of LGBTQ+ folks to their communities,” he said.

Details of Sidney’s decision to recognize Pride Week remain sparse. The announcement itself appears in Sidney’s updated strategic plan approved by council.

Sidney’s recognition of Pride Week happens against the backdrop of passed and attempted policy measures to roll back the rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community in parts of Canada, the United States, and elsewhere in the western world.

Ontario recently experienced a Kulturkampf over its province’s sex-education curriculum during which the Conservative government of Doug Ford replaced key aspects of the previous curriculum with what critics decried as an outdated and homophobic lesson plan. The Ford government has since changed course, but criticism remains high.

The federal government in the United States as well as several states have also passed measures which critics claim discriminate against members of LGBTQ+ community. For example, the United States government has banned trans-gendered individuals from serving in the military, justifying the ban on cost grounds. Washington has also rolled back a number of Obama-era initiatives.

A number of states — which almost exclusively voted for current President Donald J. Trump in 2016 — have also passed measures deemed to be discriminatory against the LGBTQ+ community, with many of those laws justified on the basis of religious freedom.

But Clayton also pointed out that B.C.’s provincial government will no longer pursue legislation banning conversion therapy. Conversion therapy is the controversial, long-discredited theory that spiritual or psychological measures can convert homosexual or bisexual individuals towards heterosexuality.

Once again, it is up to municipalities like Vancouver to step in, while the provincial and federal government dithers, he said.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Sasha Perron of Langford is preparing to run a half marathon on Saturday, 10 kilometres Sunday, 21.5 km on Tuesday and so on until he’s totalled 216 kilometres. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Indigenous man to run 215 kilometres, plus one for children waiting to be found

Donations to Sasha Perron’s fundraiser to benefit Indian Residential School Survivors Society

Saanich Neighbourhood Place is hoping to open the doors to its new centre in July, pending final council approval. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich childcare agency awaits final approval on much-needed new facility

Saanich Neighbourhood Place keen to open new centre this summer, expand options for community

A patio built by The Village is shared by three eateries in Estevan. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay eateries sharing communal patio space in Estevan Village

The Village invested $25,000 in streetside patio, hopes to make it permanent

An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read