Monday, July 26, 2010

Gay Pride Parade in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Yesterday on my way home from Mass, I saw a large gathering of people waving rainbow-coloured flags in front of the Colonial Building on Military Road. I decided to park and walk over to see what it was all about. It was apparent right away that it was a gay pride parade. There were about 200 people, mostly teenagers, gathered wearing brightly coloured clothing. There was a bullhorn that was occassionally used to chant slogans. I could not fully make out one of the chants, but it was something along the lines of

Black, white, queer, straight
No need to discriminate

I'm actually not sure what the second line is, but it was something like that. Also present at the event were the media, including NTV, VOCM, and the Telegram. There were road blocks set up in several places, which I noticed on my way to Mass in the morning, as I had to divert my path a couple of times.

After a while, the group started a parade of sorts through the streets. Again, the bullhorn was occassionally used. I'm not sure how far they went, but there was a police cruiser in front of them.

I question the purpose of such a demonstration. In Canada, Newfoundland included, two men or two women can marry. They share the same benefits as everyone else. They can even adopt children and so on. Yet, the gay community continuously harps on the idea of equality and acceptance.

I believe the gay community does not want only equal rights under the law, they also want everyone to accept their lifestyle and to agree with them. They claim intolerance, but they are more intolerant than anyone else. They want to quell any opposition to their lifestyle. If someone expresses their belief that children do best with their own mother and father in the household and that gay adoption violates this, that individual is seen as a hatemonger.

Could there be something deeper? Perhaps the gay community does not accept itself but instead of confronting this, they project these thoughts onto society at large. In order to mask their self-doubt about their lifestyle, they contend that it is society that is holding them back or making them feel this way. It is much easier to lash out at an external force than to do personal soul-searching.

I believe gay people have equal dignity as the rest of the population. They deserve love and compassion. However, we must consider the rights of everyone, including children. It is also necessary to evaluate activities in the light of science, sociology and human wisdom when creating laws and this should not be summarily dismissed as "homophobia".

I noticed at the gathering there was not an opposing group of people demonstrating against homosexuality and I am unaware of any such group that ever organizes in our province. Is it possible that what the LGBT community is fighting it not external but is rather internal turmoil?


  1. the pride concept is not just about gays and lesbians. it also includes transgender and intersexed people. our current health care system does not provide adequate products, services or funding for these people. also, our provinces human rights code does not offer these folks any protection. these folks also do face discrimination from society, including challenges obtaining suitable employment and housing.

    additionally, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community fight societal myths and stereotypes as there is no mention of any of us in the educational curriculum. the fact that you would use a word such as 'lifestyle' clearly shows your ignorance regarding this subject matter.

    finally, pride is not just a parade. it is a week-long series of events that focus on a combo of education, advocacy, and networking. the entire community is welcome and encouraged to get involved and get to know members of the LGBT community, so everyone can realize that we are all human beings who love this province and who are trying to get a fair shake of things in life.

    check out Gemma's 4 minute speech here at Government House, and i guarantee that you will gain a better understanding as to why Pride is still necessary.. if that's not enough, then google me and check out my story. i lost my job shortly after coming out. i've been denied access to health care that my doctor says that i need, and i have faced exclusion and abandonment from many family and friends..


  2. The Catholic Church is one of the biggest hate mongering, discriminatory, fanatical, ideologically dangerous and criminal organisations of the 20th century and should be dismantled.

  3. If you preach the love and forgiveness of your God then you should love all the people of the world and have no problem with their "lifestyles".

    If you then proclaim its mentioned as a sin in the Bible, so is wearing different cloths. That passage is right next to the others in Leviticus. Are you wearing jeans and a T-shirt?

  4. Thank you for your comment. The Church preaches love and forgiveness, because Jesus taught those things. The Church is always willing to forgive any contrite person who confesses his sins. And of course, love is of prime importance.

    Rules about what to eat and wear, etc. form part of the Mosaic Law, which was specific to Jews living in a particular region during a certain time in history. Those laws are not universal and eternal laws, because they are simply ways of maintaining a covenant. Now that covenant has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus said he came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it. The moral law is maintained throughout all time. Therefore, the commandment to not murder was not revoked after Jesus, but he perfected it, by saying we should not hate our brothers and sisters. Same principle applies to adultery, theft, etc.

    Laws concerning sexuality are eternal laws because they involve morality rather than being issues of obedience. The New Testament contains passages which confirm the union of a man and a woman in marriage while prohibiting other unions.

    Many people struggle with sexuality and many of these people are members of the Church. No one should be poorly treated because of their sexual tendencies, and the Church is there to show people the message of Christ, which includes love and forgiveness. Everyone has their struggles. Some people are gluttonous, some are filled with anger or hatred, some people are unfaithful in marriage, and people with same-sex attraction. The Church extends love to all of these people and says that through Jesus Christ there is hope for a better life and a better world.

    Peace be with you.

  5. Try walking down the street holding the hand of someone of the same sex. You'll quickly learn why a parade promoting awareness and acceptance is important.

  6. such parades are needed because homophobia and threats to GLBTF is a huge reality

    gays and lesbians are continually bullied by pears (particularly as teenagers)...this unacceptance goes a long way to explaining suicide rates amongst gay teens that are astronomcially higher than heterosexual teenagers.

    That being said, we still afce discrimination throughout our entire lives. My partner and I have experienced verbal abuse and heckling at various points in our lives.

    I am from St. John's and a gret source of comfort and strength is knowing the strength of religion in NL has been greatly diminished

  7. Would you prefer an atheist state? Would that be more accepting of homosexuality? I wouldn't be so certain. When the atheist communists took over in Russia in the 1930s, there were anti-gay laws enacted, where criminal fines were levied against gay people.

    You may be surprised to know that a society of religious people is probably the safest place for homosexuals. The Catechism of the Catholic Church condemns violence against gays:

    #2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    What you should hope for instead is that religion is strengthened and that people listen. No, the Church will not condone homosexual activity. But the same Church will protect everyone's human rights.

  8. Did you know that the suicide rate for LGBT teens is four times that of straight teens? Did you know that in 24 U.S. states LGBT people can be refused service in restaurants, hotels, etc.? Did you know that in many parts of the world gays and lesbians are legally killed by the death penalty for their orientation, such as in Iran? Gay Pride parades are not just for us here and now; they are to raise awareness about the struggles of LBGT people everywhere. According to your argument there's no need for a parade at Christmas or Canada Day either.

  9. The Catholic church is one of the most rotten of all the churchs. They pretend to be so great and holy. but the church should be dismantled and probably within the next few years they will be in deeper financial trouble causing them to crash as more and more and more lawsuits over abuse come to the surface and I hope they do. there you go, you have it. The Catholic church like the friggin pentecost and Baptists have enough to worry about in their own closets.

  10. I have been in St-John's for a week now, in town for an academic conference, and returning tomorrow to my home in Montreal. Over the last few days I have fallen in love with this city and its people, and have thought seriously that this is somewhere that I would like to live. I am a gay man and am legally married to my partner, we have been together for seven years. As I was talking to some friends tonight about what it would be like to live here, someone asked me "but what do you think it would be like to be gay in Newfoundland?" I honestly had not considered this, and so just googled "gay newfoundland", and this post was one of the first things that my search returned. I must say I am disheartened by what i read but not at all surprised. While homophobia and heterosexism still pervade much of our society, gays and lesbians in large urban Canadian cities can pretty much be said to be living in a "post-homophobic" world, at least to the extent that I don't have to think about my own homosexuality every moment of every day for fear of how people are going to respond to me. In reading this post I am sadly reminded that small Canadian towns are lovely to visit, but remain uninhabitable for gay people who will accept nothing less than to be accepted fully and completely as equal human beings, period.