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Conservative government of Doug Ford replaced key aspects of the previous curriculum with what critics decried as an outdated and homophobic lesson plan.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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read