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Conservative government of Doug Ford replaced key aspects of the previous curriculum with what critics decried as an outdated and homophobic lesson plan.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

Nikita, a four-year-old German Shepherd that was attacked by a buck in a backyard in Esquimalt Sunday is lucky the injury wasn't more severe. (Photo contributed by Suzette Goldsworthy)
Esquimalt dog owner issues alert after deer injures German shepherd

Nikita needed stitches after an early morning encounter

The Victoria Police Department headquarters. (Black Press Media file photo)
Investigation launched into man’s death after arrest in Victoria

IIO investigation to determine if police actions or inaction played a role in the man’s death

(Black Press Media file photo)
Police arrest man covered in blood on heels of significant Saanich crash into woods

Resident calls in home invasion in progress after crash

Capital Regional District Animal Control say an eight-month-old Rottweiler bit a Langford mother and her child near Glen Lake on Nov. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Large dog attacks mother and child in Langford

Mother puts three-year-old on top of car to protect him

Victoria School for Ideal Education at 2820 Belmont Avenue is the second school in Greater Victoria with an active confirmed COVID-19 exposure. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Private school becomes second Greater Victoria school with COVID-19 exposure

Victoria School for Ideal Education follows Lakeview Christian School in Saanich

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

Most Read