(Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)

(Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)

Kelowna-Lake Country MP asked not to attend Pride Festival

Local LGBTQ2S+ group has taken issue with Gray’s vote against a bill banning conversion therapy

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray is being asked not to attend Pride events in the future.

The Kelowna Task Force to Ban Conversion Therapy sent a letter to Kelowna Pride Society asking it to advise Gray that she is not welcome at this year’s Pride Festival. The letter also requests Kelowna Pride Society to establish guidelines regarding the participation of political parties and elected representatives at Pride events.

“Pride isn’t about uncritically including every individual or group. Pride is about uplifting, celebrating, and protecting the rights of 2S-LGBTQIA+ people. When an individual, organization, or institution has engaged in behaviour that is detrimental and discriminatory toward our community, they should no longer be welcome,” read the letter.

“Her future actions and accountability plan on matters that impact the 2S-LGBTQIA+ community should be taken into consideration before welcoming her to future events,” the task force added.

READ MORE: Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray taken to task for vote against conversion therapy ban

In response, Kelowna Pride Society said it will not further comment until the board has had a chance to review and discuss.

“We only just received the email late last night. It has been shared with our board and we will be discussing it shortly,” said society general manager Dustyn Baulkham.

The letter comes after the task force took Gray to task for voting against Bill C-6, a bill that would ban conversion therapy across the country. Conversion therapy is a blanket term that refers to dangerous and discredited practices that aim to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Gray and 61 other Conservative MPs voted against the bill, with some saying the wording of the bill makes it appear as if having a conversation between parents and their children about sexuality is illegal.

The task force also sent a letter to Gray on July 26 demanding a public apology and called Gray’s allyship “performative.” Gray has yet to respond to the task force’s statements and letters.

“It’s really important for there to be engagement from our political representatives or candidates. There’s a possibility of a fall election and it’s really important for our community to engage with the candidates and see where they are with issues like this,” said Advocacy Canada founder Wilbur Turner.

Black Press Media reached out to Gray for comment on the matter several times but has not received a response.

READ MORE: LGBTQ2S+ coalition demands public apology from Kelowna-Lake Country MP


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BC politicsFederal PoliticsKelownaLake CountryOkanagan

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