When Rights Collide, Pride Parade Edition
This year's Toronto Pride parade will see the inclusion of the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees--and IRQR founder Ashram Parsi couldn't be more delighted. As Parsi tells Xtra, though, he is dismayed that a large number of Canadians remain adamantly homophobic:
Homosexuality remains illegal in Iran, punishable by flogging, imprisonment or death. In 2007, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while on a visit to Columbia University, denied that there are gay people in Iran. And in 2005 and 2006, there were high-profile reports of executions of young men, allegedly for sodomy.
Parsi says that he would like to see Toronto’s Iranian queers come together but that there needs to be more acceptance from his fellow Iranians in Canada.
“Our most important challenge is not by white Canadians, because most of them are welcoming. They know Canada receives many immigrants… and they can contribute to this country,” says Parsi. “Our problem is by Iranian communities. Not all of them, but most Iranian people who live in Canada, they don’t know about queer rights and they don’t support it.”I think he should complain to Babsy Hall's provincial "human rights" body. Oh, not to lend credence to the racket. Just to see the Head Commissar's head 'splode as she grapples with the confounding and unforeseen issue of a designated victim group having a hate-on for another designated victim group.
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