Toronto Responds To Anti-Gay Christian March

 

Photo Credits: Wikimedia

Christ's Forgiveness Ministries, Toronto-area evangelic group, organized a protest in the Toronto's Gay Village at the end of September raising their voice against people of different sexual orientation. But Toronto's LGBTQ community rose up and responded to this hateful protest. The evangelic marchers were quickly blocked by counter-protesters who chanted and played tunes over loudspeakers. This counter-protest showed that people of Toronto are united against discrimination and hatred that Christ's Forgiveness Ministries and their founder, David Lynn, presented once again.

David Lynn was arrested for disturbing the peace in June after a bout of disruptive street preaching with a megaphone. This was just one of several incidents where preachers, including Lynn, were detained after bringing loudspeakers into the city's Gay Village. They also allegedly provoked fights with nearby people claiming afterwards that Christians are discriminated in Canadian society. Consequently, Lynn and his companions organized a protest claiming that they are marching in favor of freedom of speech and civil liberties. They also have an idea to increase their presence with proselytization booths everywhere to insure that no one can really get away from their aggressive messages about sin and salvation.

The LGBTQ community of Toronto responded to protest and the people of Church and Wellesley counter-rallied to show Lynn and protestors he brought that their hateful rhetoric is not welcome in their neighborhood. Besides blocking the evangelic marchers they also organized an official counter-rally in a park on the other end of Church Street. This counter-rally was called "Unite For Love" and it featured religious and political leaders speaking on themes of acceptance and equality. In addition, more than 70 religious leaders from a range of faiths and denominations — including Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Buddhists — signed a letter in support of the “Unite For Love” message.

Toronto Mayor John Tory attended the counter-rally to show that the city was against polarization and stigmatization. According to CTV News Toronto, he said that while it was hard legally to stop the march by the Christian group, he wanted to show the city was against it. "When there is a threat, when there are people our promoting division and polarization and stigmatization against the LGBTQ community or anybody else, I think it's my job to stand up and say no, that's not the way we live here, that's not what we're about in Toronto," said Tory. "It's fragile you know, human rights are fragile, the kind of respect we've built up here is fragile in a certain way," Tory said.

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