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Trustees to debate motion on nudity at Toronto Pride

Three trustees have put forward a motion requesting that city officials enforce nudity law

A contingent from TNT Men marches in the 2013 Toronto Pride parade. Credit: Adam Coish

Three Toronto public-school trustees are calling for a formal request to enforce public nudity laws at the city’s annual Pride parade in June.

Trustees will debate a motion at the March 5 Toronto District School Board meeting, questioning the board’s continued support of the parade. The board has organized a float as part of the parade in past years.

The motion set for debate says that nudity at Pride “raises legal concerns and implications along with questions of age-appropriateness for TDSB students and their families.”

Trustees will vote on formally requesting that nudity laws be enforced.

“Be it resolved that the Chair immediately write a letter to the Mayor and City Council of Toronto asking them to clarify whether or not the public nudity law of Canada will be upheld and enforced at future Pride events in which the TDSB participates,” the motion reads.

Trustees Sam Sotiropoulos, Irene Atkinson and John Hastings will put forward the March 5 motion.

Sotiropoulos made headlines last month when he suggested on Twitter that nudity at the Pride parade violates Ontario law. He also accused the LGBT community of perpetuating “homosexism.”

“One of the most divisive influences in Canada today is homosexism it’s [sic] disseminators are maliciously rabid,” Sotiropoulos posted.

This year’s Pride parade is also WorldPride, welcoming LGBT people from around the world. Mayor Rob Ford tried to remove a rainbow flag from city hall in January — even though multiple Canadian cities had raised the flag in solidarity with LGBT Russians during the Sochi Olympics. Ford’s brother Doug has accused Toronto’s LGBT community of “bullying” the mayor for never attending the annual Pride parade.

In 2012, an Ontario judged ruled that nudity at a rally or demonstration can be considered part of personal expression.

A similar debate on banning nudity from Pride took place last year in Vancouver.