Alberta Premier sets new precedent: will attend ‘gay pride’ festival
EDMONTON, Alberta, June 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In what organizers of this year’s Edmonton homosexual festival are calling a “milestone,” Alberta Premier Alison Redford announced over the weekend that she has accepted the group’s invitation to participate in the city’s “gay pride” festival next Saturday, something that event organizers say no other Alberta premier has done before.
“This is a huge milestone for us,” Colleen Sutherland, co-chair of the Edmonton Pride Festival Society, told CTV Edmonton.
“It’s saying to us that we are being accepted by the government. It’s saying to us that the gay, lesbian and transgendered community is just as important as any other community and no different than any other walk of life so we’re very honoured to have her there.”
“I think that it shows that everybody is accepted across the province and it emphasizes the Edmonton (public) school board taking on the new sexual orientation and gender identity policy,” Sutherland added.
Trustees from the Edmonton Public School Board will lead this year’s homosexual parade as honorary marshals, according to event organizers.
Trustee Sarah Hoffman told the CBC, “We ‘re thrilled. We’re very honoured,” to ride in convertibles in the parade wearing t-shirts bearing the message “Pride in Education.”
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Warren Becker, second co-chair of the Pride Festival society, told the Edmonton Journal, “We’ve invited all political parties to attend and we’ve never really had a good representation of the PC party at any Pride event in our history. … It means full recognition of our status in Alberta.”
Premier Redford’s press secretary, Kim Misik, said Redford was “thrilled to be invited,” and will make opening remarks in front of City Hall when the homosexual parade reaches Sir Winston Churchill Square. “She’s [Redford] always said that politics are finally catching up to who we are as Albertans and this is just life,” Misik said.
Event organizers said earlier that MLA’s representing every political party except the Wildrose party had confirmed their attendance at the festival.
However, the Edmonton Sun reported this morning that Wildrose director of communications Brock Harrison confirmed that party leader Danielle Smith would be attending events at the homosexual festival.
The Edmonton Sun reports that almost three quarters of respondents to an online Sun poll that asked, “Are you pleased to see Premier Alison Redford taking part in a gay pride festival?” answered “No.”
Premier Alison Redford
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