“We should love each other for who we are,” says Pickering Councillor who votes against supporting Pride Month


Published May 25, 2023 at 9:35 am

The City of Pickering took a stand against hate at Tuesday night’s Council meeting with a motion supporting Pride Month, the raising of the Pride flag and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, though the sentiment was not shared by the entire council.

Ward 1 City Councillor Lisa Robinson, who has a pair of notice of motions coming next month – including one regarding “non-governmental flag raising” – cast the only dissenting vote, saying Council “should not be putting one group ahead of another.”

“We have an obligation to treat everyone equal and if you think some people should be put on a pedestal and not others, I feel sorry for you,” she said. “The world is so divided right now. We have whites fighting blacks, vaxxed vs un-vaccinated, LGBQT against heterosexuals. We should just love each other for who we are.”

Mayor Kevin Ashe said the motion is about Council “reaffirming” its commitment to the Pride community and about respect and inclusion for all residents of Pickering.

“I am proud that Pickering Council made a strong statement about supporting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and the tenets of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,” he said, adding that he is also aware of a recent hateful video circulating online and corresponding commentary. “We denounce all forms of homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and bigotry directed at the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and equity-deserving groups.”

Pickering Councillor Lisa Robinson

Robinson, in her speech against support for Pride Month, said the motion creates a “hierarchy” where one group is “ahead” of those who “do not believe in that flag.

Ashe, however, said the motion is about “building a stronger and more inclusive community, rather than creating a hierarchy or oppressing other groups. “By advocating for the rights of Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and other diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, we demonstrate our commitment to equity and respect for all community members. Embracing the diversity within our community and ensuring that everyone can live authentically and without fear of discrimination or prejudice is a core value that strengthens the fabric of our city.”

“By standing together, we can create a community that celebrates the unique identities, perspectives, experiences and contributions of each resident, promoting unity, harmony, and a brighter future for everyone.

The motion carried 6-1.

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