Oh Canada: The Manitoba Legislature All Lit Up for Gay Pride


The Manitoba legislature is joining in Winnipeg Pride celebrations:

“This is one of the most significant things we are doing to celebrate the occasion of our 25th anniversary,” said Barb Burkowski, Chair, Pride Winnipeg. “What really started the Pride movement in Winnipeg was the passing of a piece of legislation that included protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation in Manitoba’s Human Rights Code – so what better way to symbolically mark the occasion than by lighting up the building where these protections were drafted and became law.”

(photo via Scott Carman – Twitter)


  1. TampaZeke says

    Further proof that some of Canada’s least progressive provinces are more progressive that the United States’ most progressive states.

    Oh what a difference a border makes.

  2. Rick says

    “Oh what a difference a border makes.”

    Substitute the word “demographics” for “a border” and you will have it right.

    BC has similar attitudes (and demographics) to neighboring Washington State. Manitoba has similar attitudes (and demographics) to neighboring Minnesota. Ontario to neighboring New York. And, yes, Alberta to neighboring Montana and Idaho (don’t expect the Alberta legislative building to be lit up in rainbow colors any time soon).

    Etc., etc.

    The biggest differences, demographically, from a national perspective, are that Canada has no demographic equivalent to the South and is less than 3% black and Latino compared to nearly 30% in the US.

  3. says

    the difference is that Canada has a culture of multiculturalism and diversity, whereas many in the US believe in some false national myth about what makes “an American”

    Toronto, for example, is one of the most multiculturally diverse cities in the world, and is a haven for LGBT people.

    we’ve also had hate-speech legislations for twenty years.

    we also don’t have religious-beliefs being trumpeted a reason to elect our national leaders.

    we also have a newsmedia blessedly-free from the Fox News school of bigotry and opinions-as-news. it makes a difference. you don’t have a non-news “news network” on tv 24 hours a day drumming up bigotry and counting on it to aid a particular political party.

    those are the important differences.

  4. Rick says

    Toronto is no more typical of Canada than New York City is of the US. And most Canadians view Toronto the same way most Americans view New York, with some combination of resentment and distrust.

    And the lack of religion in public life in Canada is, again, a reflection of demographics–no demographic equivalent to the Bible Belt (i.e. the South) and negligible black and Hispanic populations.

    Finally, the concept of “multiculturalism” in Canada is a phony, manufactured one, arrived at by pretending that the Quebecois are in harmony with English-speaking Canada (they rarely are), that “First Nation” people–as American Indians are referred to in Canada–are happy with their lot (they rarely are), and that the recent introduction of some highly-educated Asian immigrants constitutes real “diversity”–even though they, themselves, constitute barely 5% of the population in an overwhelmingly white society.

    That is the truth behind all the bluster.

  5. says

    the leading force for anti-gay prejudice in America is the Republican party, which is almost entirely white. but nice try.

    you said earlier that you want a new movement in the gay community, one that has no gender-nonconformists or lesbians.

    how on earth do you think that’ll ever happen considering you’re too cowardly to stand up to be counted as a gay man? specific answer, please. how do you hope to create a new face for the gay community when you’re not able to visibly identify as gay?

    the most multiculturally-diverse cities in Canada are also the most pro-Equality. the most accepting of gender non-conformity. i was openly gay in my highschool where “whites” were the cultural minority. didn’t hold me back. we’re a tapestry, whether your closeted cowardly @ss wants to acknowledge it or not.

    the lack of religion in public policy has nothing to do with “colored people” and everything to do with the fact that Canadians favour facts over opinions, as do our courts.

    of course some rural canadians have disdain for toronto. it’s the place where gays and non-whites thrive in a bustling metropolis.
    bitter bettys, all of ’em

    so let’s hear your plan, RICK, of how you guys who are too cowardly to stand up and identify as gay are going to somehow band together to create a new face for the gay community, without showing your faces.

    this oughta be good 😀

  6. MikeMB says

    Ugh, why does this good news story have to turn into race-baiting? Race has very little to do with Canadian progressiveness vs. American conservatism on LGBT issues. The difference is attitudes is directly connected to the levels of religiosity in the two countries. Americans’ belief in God and their self-identification as “very religious” is off the charts compared to Canadians, which are middle of the road when compared with most “Western” nations.

    I do take issue with Tampazeke’s implication that Manitoba is among Canada’s “least progressive” provinces. The province was the third in Canada to add human rights code protections for LGBT persons 25 years ago, its capital, Winnipeg, was the first major city in North America (and probably the world) to elect a gay mayor back in 1998, and Manitoba will almost certainly be the first province to add “gender identity” as a distinct prohibited ground of discrimination.

  7. jim says

    Take it from Rick, a true-blue Canadian if ever there was one.

    Beautiful sight, that building! I’m gonna go into denial and tell myself that it’s the Lincoln Memorial.

  8. Chad says

    I appreciate your patriotism LittleKiwi but I think you’re cherry picking your facts a bit.
    We currently have a Federal Government making policy based on ideologie and not facts. There is a vocal Religious minority in this country that love to hate on us every chance they get. While I agree with most of what you said about Toronto, Toronto is not Canada. A couple hours drive in any direction and I think you’re much safer in the closet than out of it. Same for Vancouver, leave downtown holding another mans hand and you be gettin’ an earful.

  9. Rick says

    “Race has very little to do with Canadian progressiveness vs. American conservatism on LGBT issues. The difference is attitudes is directly connected to the levels of religiosity in the two countries.”

    Sigh. The only reason Canada has less “religiosity” than the US, for the third time, is that a)it does not have an equivalent to the Bible Belt of the southern United States and (neither does any country in western Europe have such an equivalent) and b) because blacks and Hispanics tend to be more homophobic than whites outside the South (as all the exit polling so far in states like California that have held referendums has demonstrated…..and as opinion polls across the board have consistently demonstrated). How much of (b) is due to the greater religiosity of blacks and Hispanics vis-a-vis non-Southern whites is open to question, but whatever the reason, a higher percentage of them are homophobic and that has made a big difference in voting on gay rights issues.

    The average New Yorker is no more religious or homophobic than the average Ontarian; the average Vermonter is no more religious or homophobic than the average Quebecois; the average resident of Washington or Oregon is no more religious or homophobic than the average resident of British Columbia; and the average Minnesotan is no more religious or homophobic than the average resident of Manitoba.

    Compare the average resident of Mississippi or Alabama to any of the above, however, regardless of whether that resident of Mississippi or Alabama is black or white–and the story is completely, dramatically different.

    And I am sure Tampazeke can attest to this, himself, since I believe he has mentioned before that he is from Mississippi originally.

  10. says

    we have a federal government making policy based on GOP-styled rhetoric, as Harper is a pathetic Bush-wannabe. His religious wants and desires will be unattainable for implementation, thanks to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    and what you said backs up the point i made – the multiculturally-diverse cities across Canada are the most accepting and embracing of LGBT people. it aint non-whites in small-town Canada that are the problem.

    yup. we have a vocal religious minority. minority. and they lose power with each passing year.

  11. Mary says

    Oh Canada! So you’ve lit up these 6 columns have you? Well, we know this was not to celebrate gay pride. It was in anticipation of a visit from Little Kiwi. Each column was lit for one of Kiwi’s 6 favorite comments – 1) get real, 2) Grow a pair!, 3) show your URL, troll!, 4) you’re engaged in a losing effort to please your homophobic Mommy and Daddy, 5)F**k OFF AND DIE!, and 6)you use the internet as a burka.

    They ran out of columns and so were unable to symbolize his other two favorites – “you’ll die a lonely death” and “werk.”
    But, hey, they did their best to honor him!

  12. says

    Rick, how exactly do you plan to organize a new lesbian-free and gender-nonconformist-free face for the Gay Movement when you yourself are too cowardly to stand up and give a face and name to what Gay Is, or Can Be?

    Genuinely curious. You want a gay movement without transpeople, lesbians, or guys that you don’t think are “masculine enough” – how do you specifically plan on getting this movement or group together, if none of you guys have the balls to live a Visible life?

    Specifics, please.

  13. Rick says

    @Mary LOL. That was priceless, indeed. I continue to be favorably impressed by the few women who post on this site.

    @Everyone Just so you understand, the fact that “multi-cultural/diverse” cities tend to be the most gay-friendly–whether in Canada, the US or elsewhere–is not due to a cause and effect existing between their “diversity” and their tolerance towards gays. You would, of course–for example–find the same degree of hostility towards gays among Jamaican immigrants in Toronto that you would find anywhere.

    The reason that the cities with the more “diverse” populations tend to be the most gay-friendly is that the mostly white elite of those cities tend to have significantly more socially liberal attitudes than people in the country as a whole, which extends to ALL minorities, which tends, in turn to act as a magnet to minorities (including gays) and to immigrants…..that, plus the fact that they tend to be the most vibrant economic centers.

    So in many cases, they are more gay-friendly DESPITE the fact that they are home to other minorities that tend to be more homophobic than the population as a whole.

    Rhetorical sleights-of-hand on the part of the Far Left to pretend that there is a cause and effect (i.e. that “multi-culturalism somehow CAUSES greater tolerance towards gays) are based on the desire to attribute all the world’s evil to straight white “Christian” males and to perpetrate a fantastic myth that all minorities are harmoniously united against this “evil oppressor”.

    Laughable, huh?

  14. johnny says

    Truly lovely.

    A symbol that ALL people are welcome and deserve equal rights, not just gays, not just straights, but every single person on the planet.


  15. Tommy says

    I live in the province of New Brunswick & I can attest that homophobia is alive & well. When I lived in Grand Falls, there was a group of religious individuals who came to my place of work and demanded my boss fire me ’cause I was gay…He didn’t, he told them I did my job as well as his straight workers. That didn’t stop them, I was constantly harassed at work & on the streets…So I moved to Edmundston (at the time there was a gay club that had opened downtown) only to find more hate but I managed to have found a great guy, we’ve been together for about 7 yrs. Last year, our neighbor broke into our apartment with a baseball bat while we were sleeping. We awoke to the sound of broken glass from the front door, then we heard homophobic rants like “I’ll kill you faggots”…we managed to lock ourselves in our bedroom. My bf was holding the door trying to keep him from breaking it down while I was on the phone to 911…He suddenly stopped & left, he had cut himself on the glass of our front door and was bleeding profusely. We found out he needed 3 pints of blood, the cops arrested him at the emergency room at the hospital. At his sentencing I was not present, but my bf went & he was attacked again by the same neighbor. What happened – before his sentencing the judge went on brake so my bf started to leave the court room to go take a smoke when he realized our attacker was standing right behind him, but it was too late…the attacker spit right in the back of his neck, when my bf turned around to face him the attacker started pounding on him so my bf reacted & defended himself, when the cops arrived they saw my bf defending himself but they still arrested him for disturbing the peace! You can see it here: http://www.capacadie.com/actualites-regionales/2012/2/15/edmundston-bagarre-au-tribunal Anyways, it might be all good in bigger cities like Toronto, but for the rest of us in rural Canada, might as well be living in the ‘bible belt’ of America. Oh! Our attacker got 6 month in prison, so he’ll be out on the 26th of July & I still fear he might retaliate, it’s a small town, it wouldn’t take much for him to find us.

  16. Catherine says

    Tommy — please get out of Edmunston with your guy. Move to Halifax. You shouldn’t be in danger of physical harm like that. Take care of yourself.

  17. Tommy says

    Well my bf is graduating from CCNB on the 22 of this month & he as to appear in court on the 13th for the charges of ‘disturbing the peace’ (I didn’t mention in my previous post that he went after our assailant when he left our apartment, my bf thought he had fled to his apartment next door ’cause he had heard me call 911 so my bf kicked his door opened and saw he wasn’t there so he kind of trashed his place a bit…oupss! My bf got 15 months probation) so we’ll see what happens, obviously we thought about moving but my bf has an 11 yrs old boy (he lives with his mother but visits every other weekend) but considering what’s happened we might end up moving anyways. Thanks for your concern Catherine, never know we could end up in Halifax :-) seems like a nice friendly place.

  18. ElCid says

    @ Rick
    What is wrong with you man? What a lot of resentment in your words! Can’t you just be happy for the people of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Toronto, or whatever other city/province in Canada that has equality? You sound like a bitter man.
    Moreover, I am Hispanic. And you talk as if Blacks and Hispanics are part of the cause of the hate speech against GLBT people. You sound a little bit of a RACIST man. Please, BE MORE RESPECTFUL.

  19. ElCid says

    “The reason that the cities with the more “diverse” populations tend to be the most gay-friendly is that the mostly white elite of those cities tend to have significantly more socially liberal attitudes than people in the country as a whole…” Nauseating statement.
    So according to you, “All we need is white” in order to have more love, acceptance, liberal minds…. What a bunch of crap.

  20. UFFDA says

    MARY – that was your best post ever. You got even with tired, tiresome, trite, treadworn KIWI. Let’s have a party.

  21. Carl says

    My fiancé, children, and I drove up from Kansas to be married in Winnipeg. This was right after Christmas in 2005. The weather was balmy (for Winnipeg in late December)and the people there were even warmer. It wouldn’t have taken too much to persuade me to stay there. WTG Winnipeg!

  22. Mary says

    Uffda, a party sounds great, but I live on the East coast and you live on the West coast, but hey, if you’re ever in NYC…..

    But my best post was on “One Million Moms goes after the Gap for its new gay add” on May 19. I posed as a character called “Kiwi’s Ghost” and replied about my conversion the way I thought HE would if he decided to address the subject. Check it out! Nullnaught told me in a private email that he thought it really was Kiwi for a while.

  23. jim says

    Really a beautiful photo, nice expression of a wonderful sentiment. Too bad the comments, once again, veer off-subject and become a trainwreck of bitterness and oneupmanship.

    Andy, this place is becoming more and more like Queerty. About ready to give up on Towleroad and just stick with Joe.

  24. UFFDA says

    MARY – thanks, I’ll try to look it up. YOU – the real you – is branching out, blossoming even…now that you have truly joined us. I miss a lot of posts because I don’t follow much very closely.

    I get to New York very rarely, very, but if you’re ever in the Seattle area I have a big house with Puget Sound view…it’s heaven. How do I contact you in private email?

  25. UFFDA says

    TOMMY – very sorry and shocked about your recent troubles…but boy do you have a rockin’ boyfriend! It may be that your assailant will be afraid of you guys, and ought to be. What a crappy situation.
    Keep us informed, we’ll be interested…and we’re rooting for you.

    Also, might be helpful to give the criminal’s name, address and the local authorities as well who need to know that lots of people are on your side. Our emails help.

  26. Tyler says

    Lying about Canada so you can ignore the ongoing truths in America is not patriotic. I don’t understand why people’s sense of American pride gets in the way of their critical thinking of what accomplishments other countries have made. Canada is decades ahead of us in so many ways, and yet people refuse to see it and work to adopt what Canada has done and figured out for implementation in our own country. Why can’t we learn from our neighbor to the north?

  27. Mary says

    Uffda, you can use my email account tdkq@yahoo.com. And thanks for the invite.

    Jim, I know we get off topic a bit, bit aren’t you overreacting? I enjoy your posts and would hate to see you leave Towleroad. But let me comment on this lit building since that’s what the story is about. It is beautiful. And a great way to express support for the LGBT community. Go Canada!

  28. UFFDA says

    MARY – so I read the May 19 stuff and it really was good, like NULL I laughed OL. Thank you…but you need never explain yourself in a kindly way to KIWI as no one could deserve any consideration less.

    You really have blossomed on line and in the ironical way of life you sort of owe it all to…(God, I just can’t bring myself to say its name). YKWIM (You Know Who/What I Mean).

  29. halfdime says

    I am a gay american who is about to start a job in Winnipeg. I flew up here this weekend to find a place to live and was pleasantly surprised that it is Pride. I have to say that the entire atmosphere towards LGBTQ folks here is so much more positive than the atmosphere in the South (which is where I live). So happy to be coming here (even if only for 2 years).

  30. says

    with the protections of the charter of rights and freedoms there is a reality that the beliefs and opinions of even the most bigoted citizens, and lord do they still exist, are not and cannot be codified into law and policy.

    you may be a bigot, but your bigotry has no “back up” in law.