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Pride Winnipeg urges Canadian LGBT community to vote Oct 19

Non-partisan organization launches #OUTtoVote campaign

Pride Winnipeg has launched an online campaign urging Canada’s LGBT community to vote in the October 19 federal election.

“The reason that we started the awareness campaign was to live more within our mission, which is to provide up-to-date, important and relevant information to the LGBTTQ community,” Pride Winnipeg spokesperson Jeff Myall tells Daily Xtra.

“We just want to make sure that LGBTTQ individuals are well informed when they go out to vote,” he says.

“Although Pride Winnipeg is a non-partisan organization, we have a duty to present federal election information relevant to the LGBTTQ community and encourage all eligible voters to perform their civic duty,” the organization says in a Sept 22, 2015, press release announcing its #OUTtoVote campaign.

To help inform voters, Pride Winnipeg has compiled voting records of Manitoba candidates and national party leaders on LGBT-related bills, as well as information on LGBT demographics in Canada.

“Over the years the Pride Winnipeg Festival has seen an increasing number of politicians, local and federal, display their support and pride for the LGBTTQ community,” the press release says. “One of Pride Winnipeg’s goals is to affirm the lives of LGBTTQ individuals, and we believe that providing the resources for eligible voters to make an informed decision about which of their MP candidates or affiliate parties support the LGBTTQ community is crucial to that goal.”

As the number of openly LGBT people increases, so does the community’s potential power as a voting bloc, as well as its purchasing power. It’s now in the politicians’ best interest to lobby the gay vote, and it’s crucial that voters be informed when casting their ballots, organizers say.

“Some individuals may not be aware of certain parties’ platforms and what they stand for,” Myall says.

“We are non-partisan,” he reiterates. “We just want to provide individuals with information.”