The Canadian Association for Equality is extremely hurt and disappointed to announce that Pride Toronto has revoked our permit to walk in the Pride Parade this Sunday.
Here’s all we were told:
It has come to our attention that the work of your organization may contravene the spirit of the mission, vision, and values of Pride Toronto and WorldPride. For this reason, please be advised that your permit to march in the WorldPride Parade on Sunday June 29th has been cancelled. We regret that this information has come so close to the parade day.
This was sent to us 4 days before the parade, even though we had paid for our registration months ago and had walked without incident last year. CAFE values equality, diversity and inclusion. Now Pride is telling us we are not welcome, violating these values we thought we shared.
CAFE hoped to resolve the situation amicably. We sent Pride an Official Response and provided all of you with contact information for Pride, encouraging supporters to send letters. Some of your amazing letters are here
This resulted in a meeting with Kevin Beaulieu, Pride’s Executive Director. Following that meeting, CAFE sent a thorough response to Mr. Beaulieu. Pride dismissed what we had to say and refused to reconsider their position.
CAFE has released the following media advisory “Controversial “Men’s Issues” Organization Ejected From Pride Parade”
CAFE is committed to contributing to Pride. We will not miss the opportunity to show that the same values unite Pride and the new movement for men’s issues awareness. So please join CAFE to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion at the CAFE Pride Party Saturday, June 28 at 8PM at the Artful Dodger Pub (Back Patio) at 10 Isabella Street in the Church-Wellesley Village! We will also be visible as a group at the Pride Parade on Sunday.
Please send your RSVP or your interest in assisting at either event to email@example.com
CAFE’s Official Response
From Eleanor Levine:
I am a proud member of CAFE and also a member of the Advisory Board.
I am on Faculty at the University of Toronto, The Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. I work with graduate students as Faculty-Field Liaison. This past year I supervised 21 students, 21 Host supervisors and 3 Field Educators. I will continue this work in the year 2014 – 2015. I have also worked in the Departments of Psychiatry at Stanford University in Palo Alto and in Toronto at the UHN – Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. I worked in Psychiatry, in-patient and out-patient in The Women’s Clinic. I am very experienced in working with women with an enormous array of problems. My current work is at The University of Toronto and I have a private practice.
I feel a deep commitment to CAFE for its excellent work in helping men and boys with an array of problems. I am aware of the suicide rates of young men and of the drop-out rate from school, including University. I am aware that there is a dearth of agencies to help boys, men and fathers. CAFE sponsors educational seminars of a very high caliber. Academic leaders speak at these meetings. They also do research and their work is published in noted peer-reviewed journals.
CAFE is trying to help men. This group is an equal-opportunity group. Women are respected and never disparaged. This dedicated group is about human rights for all. And justice for all.
I am 74 years old. Doing academic work and therapy. I have a husband, 3 married sons and 7 grandchildren. I live a rich life and I have a lot of experience both person and professional in understanding people, both men and women. I cannot stress enough to you how dedicated CAFE Directors, Advisors and Members are to helping people, all people to have a loving and peaceful life. You need to know that that includes acceptance of and respect for genders and sexual orientation.
Please reconsider your current decision. CAFE is an honorable group which is doing excellent work for all women and men
Eleanor Levine, BA, MSW, RSW
From Alan Fournier:
I am a gay man and a member of CAFE. There are many of us, both male and female, in the LGBT community that are proud of our involvement in men’s issues. Pride Toronto is on the wrong side of history on this one. If you want to create a deep schism within the LGBT community, your off to a good start. Please make no mistake, this will explode in your faces
From Ryan Dinsmore
I find your decision to revoke the Canadian Association for Equality’s (CAFE) permit to participate in the Toronto Pride parade troubling.
I am writing you as a member of the executive committee of CAFE.
As a person who identifies with a diverse LGBT and aboriginal community, I am confused by your rationale to revoke CAFE’s permit. I have found CAFE to be nothing but a diverse and inclusive organization and feel that further explanation is needed to demonstrate how CAFE contravenes “the spirit of the mission, vision and values of Pride Toronto and WorldPride.”
CAFE is a registered charity dedicated to addressing issues facing boys, men and families, regardless of ethnicity or sexual orientation. CAFE’s message is inclusive and the diversity of CAFE’s membership base speaks to the organization’s non-judgmental openness to all people.
I am a psychotherapist in Toronto and have been working with CAFE to establish the Canadian Centre for Men and Families, an inclusive centre dedicated to counselling, suicide prevention, anger management, family issues and peaceful conflict resolution. I have seen CAFE validated and embraced by a number of social service agencies in Toronto, as well as a diverse population of different cultures, ethnicities, genders, classes and ages.
In my personal experience with CAFE, I have found that the organization embodies many of Pride Toronto’s values.
In the spirit of openness and respect, I feel we would all benefit from a greater explanation of Pride Toronto’s decision to revoke CAFE’s permit to participate in Pride. I also respectfully ask Pride Toronto to reconsider it’s decision.
Thank you for your time,
Ryan Dinsmore, M.Ed., CCC
From Mike Murphy
I find it ironic PRIDE Toronto is revoking the permit of a charitable organisation, focused on equality for all, particularly the role of men, boys, and families, while allowing those who have a visceral hate for Israel to participate in the parade.
The message you are sending is one of incoherence and intolerance yet you are demanding tolerance from others.
I believe you need to reconsider this ill thought out decision no doubt instigated by some very spiteful people with the wrong information about CAFE. Is PRIDE now following the example that Rob Ford shows toward it? That is not a rhetorical question.
From Charles-A. R.
This is email is to address my deepest concerns to the Pride Toronto organization.
Are gay people turning their back on citizens fighting a similar struggle : having their rights recognized as fathers and men in our society, the same way gay and queer people have struggled (still are) for their own rights….?
Or would it be because these people are heterosexual???
Very inclusive attitude….
Maybe remember your own roots and struggles.
My second question is : how does this group contravene the mission of the pride movement?
Charles-A. R., Toronto
CAFE’s Full Email to Kevin Beaulieu, Pride Executive Director
“The Canadian Association for Equality is committed to achieving equality for all Canadians, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, family status, race, ethnicity, creed, age or disability. In particular, we are interested in gender equality, that is on achieving equality for all men, women, girls and boys.”
“When it comes to mental health, men – particularly young fathers – have been largely overlooked, with most of the treatment and services focused on women and new mothers.” http://www.theglobeandmail.
In the third and final round of correspondence we responded to specific requests from the Charity Directorate. They asked us for all the references from the “Rescuing our Under Achieving Sons” presentation (we provided the full bibliography from the book) and copies of The New Male Studies, a peer reviewed academic inderdisciplinary journal (several of our advisors are on the editorial board), to which we sent them this link http://www.newmalestudies.
I do apologize for the length of my response on this matter, but there really is an entire side to this story that NOW magazine decided not to tell. I am happy to respond to concerns regarding our charity application, but I do think we need to keep in mind that Mr. Spurr is not a charity directorate investigations official nor qualified to make an objective assessment as to the merits of our application. If the charity directorate has concerns I am sure they will conduct an investigation, but I do not believe Pride should be drawing any conclusions from a single article that is seriously incomplete and does not represent anything close to due process.
6. Other organizations
CAFE has a strict policy of non-affiliation with other organizations and maintains neutrality on matters of political, religious and ideological commitment. Various groups may comment in support or opposition to our programs, including both feminist and men’s rights associations, but such comments in no way reflect CAFE association or affiliation with any of these groups, nor do we approve, endorse, or coordinate those activities. CAFE members have appeared in non-official capacities at many events discussing gender, including programs organized by men’s issues groups, but also programs organized by feminist groups. Our spokesperson and advisor Heidi Nabert, for example, was invited and participated in a panel event “Modern Feminism and You” organized by the ten year old women’s rights group Women Out Loud at the University of Toronto.
Please reconsider your decision to revoke our permit to walk in Pride. Please let us follow the precedent set when we walked last year. There was no trouble created by our participation whatsoever even though the organization was already well known. Allow me to suggest that following Pride 2014 there might be a proper formal procedure implemented where your organization can decide whether to accept us in future years. Anyone with concerns can be heard during this process, and we would be happy to respond to any and all issues raised.
Pride has had almost 2 months to consider CAFE’s application and at this point we have spent a couple thousand dollars on Pride specific material. To be honest, we do not believe we are being treated fairly. Pride has worked hard to develop a solid procedure (the Dispute Resolution Process) to guarantee consistent and non-arbitrary handling of these situations. According to that procedure’s due process requirements, groups who receive complaints are given a chance to respond, and the dispute resolution process is to be completed by June 21st. If the process is not complete by that date the group is allowed to walk in the parade. I worry that Pride may be violating the spirit if not the letter of its own procedures in the way it has handled the CAFE matter.
But more important than process, CAFE shares the values of Pride: inclusion, diversity and equality. We may be provocative, but not more so than other groups you have green lit, including Queers against Israeli Apartheid and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association. OECTA, whose inclusion in Pride I applaud, especially after my own work to support GSAs in Catholic schools, is nevertheless part of a Catholic system that is not always aligned with the values of Pride. I find it troubling that CAFE is singled out for exceptional treatment.
On a personal note, I am a friend and ally of Pride. I’ve walked in Pride for half a decade under different organizational banners. I participate in weekly debates on mainstream radio and TV arguing against socially conservative oftentimes bigoted and homophobic people like Charles McVety and Joe Boot, and standing up strongly for sexual education, GSAs, and gay rights. Many of my colleagues in CAFE – men and women – share this deep passion for the LGBT movement and also believe men’s issues need attention.
Let me just add in conclusion that CAFE is committed to doing whatever we need to to work positively with Pride, and we are happy to discuss statements or commitments you’d like us to make or other forms of action we can take to signal our desire to fit in to Pride and help contribute to this important event. We are also very willing to continue meeting with you or your colleagues, and to invite members of our Board or Advisors to future meetings.
Main Number: 416-927-7433
Full Contact information: http://www.worldpridetoronto.com/about/contact