Pride celebration and Royal newlyweds both have detractors
Paul Russell Jul 1, 2011 – 12:24 PM ET | Last Updated: Jul 1, 2011 9:04 AM ET
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/201 ... etractors/
Toronto's Pride Parade took place in sweltering heat over the weekend
Various communities across Canada are in the midst of gay Pride events — but not everyone is celebrating. At least three dozen letter writers sent in their thoughts on this festival, with many commending a decision by Toronto’s Mayor to spend this weekend at the cottage, instead of at his city’s Pride parade.
“Congratulations to Rob Ford for choosing to be with his family on Canada Day,” wrote Regina G. Cortina. “Real and good pride comes from being truthful and consistent with what we are (a man, a woman, a father, a mother) and from having the right priorities in life.”
Newspaper columnists who support gay rights, including those in the National Post, also came under attack.
“The recent crucifixion of our Mayor Rob Ford over gay Pride shows that homosexuals are not the tolerant people they pretend to be,” said Gerry Jones. “It is shameful that the media-backed homosexual community should label as ‘homophobic’ those who disagree with their lifestyle.
“I for one will not allow homosexuals to corrupt the meaning of the word ‘gay’ (cheerful) for me,” Mr. Jones continued. “I will not allow them to turn the majestic ‘rainbow’ into a symbol of lust. I will enjoy Canada Day far from the vulgar ‘Pride’ parade.”
“I’m struck by the insistence shown by certain members of the homosexual community that Rob Ford attend their yearly party,” added Gwendolyn Sheldon. “After all, people generally do not enjoy the company of somebody who is obviously being compelled to attend an event against his will. These people are nothing but bullies, eager to show that they can intimidate others into doing things that they clearly do not want to do.”
But a dozen or so Post readers voiced support for Pride, and urged Toronto’s Mayor to attend.
“The warm adoption by Torontonians of the Pride parade shows how far gay rights have come,” wrote Noah Gurza. “Pride not only draws the city together, but it loudly affirms a statement about human rights. It sucks that it falls on a long weekend, I know, but that’s the thing about representative democracy: Mayor Ford, get your super-soaker, put on your sunscreen and join us. We promise no gravy will be served.”
“Pride is not about blatant portrayals of sex,” added Nicole Keri. “The majority of people who attend Pride are merely pleased to be able to celebrate the freedom of choice that Canada offers. And yes, in recent years, the parade has become far too politicized. But the original meaning, the message behind Pride at its inception, was to love yourself and others for who they are.”
– Nearly 1,400 accredited media outlets are covering William and Kates’s Royal honeymoon in Canada right now — but that’s not to say that all these reporters are dyed-in-the-wool monarchists. The Post’s John Ivison, for example, noted in his Thursday column that he has a “supreme indifference toward them … If the Royal wedding had taken place in my backyard, I’d have drawn the curtains.”
This reader was not amused:
“If John Ivison is not interested in the visit of William and Kate, please assign a reporter who is,” wrote Ann Cruickshank. “Many Canadians, including myself, feel passionately interested, and in the next few days, that coverage will be the first part of the National Post I turn to.”
“Let us remember our good manners and the rules of hospitality and give these fresh new Royals a proper Canadian welcome,” added Russell Thompson. And in reaction to a Thursday letter, which suggested that Canadians excited by the Royal visit are “rubes,” he added: “When I’m gawking and all emotional, I’ll remember that you are only a rube if you are rude.”
Another reader succinctly sided with Mr. Ivison’s point of view.
“Royal visit, 2011. Why exactly do we care?” asked Dalia Tubis.
– All this week the Post has offered readers a first-hand look at the battle in Afghanistan in our “The Long Road” series. It featured battlefield sketches from illustrator Richard Johnson coupled with first-person accounts from writers such as Brian Hutchinson and Christie Blatchford.
This collective effort has not gone unnoticed.
“Thank you so much for this series,” wrote Adrien Cornelisse. “The graphics are such an awesome part, and the articles really bring out the reality of what our troops are facing.”
This note of praise concerned Ms. Blatchford’s column last Saturday, which was titled “Surrounded by our troops, I’ve never felt so alive.”
“This was a stellar example of the calibre of Christie Blatchford’s writing that we have missed,” wrote Susan Gamble. “Reading it brought tears to my eyes. How privileged she was to be able to work with our wonderful troops, and how privileged we as readers are to be able to appreciate and share her emotions about such a heart-rending subject. Thank you, Christie, and once again, welcome back.”