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Alan Li rejects appointment as Pride Toronto grand marshal

Pride Toronto’s choice for grand
marshal of the 2010 Pride parade has refused his appointment, citing
the organization’s censorship of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid

Dr Alan Li says he was flattered to be chosen, but “after serious reflection” he decided to decline the title. QuAIA has distributed Li’s letter to the Pride Toronto board, which you can read in full here (PDF). An excerpt:

"Pride’s recent decision to ban the term ‘Israeli Apartheid’ and thus prohibit the participation of the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from participating in Pride celebrations this year is a slap in the face to our history of diverse voices. Pride’s hoice to take preemptive step to censor our own communities’ voices and concerns in response to political and corporate pressure shows a lack of backbone to stand up or principles of inclusiveness and anti-oppression. It also allowed Toronto City Council and other levels of government to evade their responsibility to engage in public debate to promote awareness and understanding on this critical human rights issue."

More on Li, from the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives:

"Dr Alan Li, an immigrant from Hong Kong, is a Toronto-based physician,
community organizer and human rights activist. Since the early 1980s,
he has been the driving force behind Gay Asians Toronto. He co-founded
Hong Kong 10% Club, the first registered gay community organization in
Hong Kong. He was also the founder of the Asian Community AIDS Services,
and the multicultural Coalition against Homophobia. He was the first openly
gay National President of the Chinese Canadian National Council, an advocacy
organization with 30 chapters across Canada. As a physician, he has served
many people with HIV/AIDS at Casey House Hospice as well as marginalized
populations at Regent Park Community Health Centre.”

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