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Giorgio Mammoliti gives up the fight against Pride funding—and launches new attack on all “political” festivals

The saga of Giorgio Mammoliti’s fight against funding Pride Toronto—which began with disputes about the participation of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and continued with the somewhat odd (some called it creepy) sight of Mammoliti videotaping the Dyke March during this year’s Pride Week—is over for now. The York West councillor says he’ll accept that the city can’t take back the money it promised Pride just because he found three examples of speech he doesn’t like.

According to the National Post, Mammoliti issued this statement:

While I concede that it would be illegal to remove funding from Pride Toronto based on the City Manager’s decision on Toronto’s Anti-Discrimination policy, I will work over the next few months to change City policy. Contrary to what some of my colleagues have been saying this past week, standing up for taxpayers is not ‘creepy’.

If Mammoliti really wants to say that using creepy means to stand up for taxpayers isn’t actually creepy, well okay. (And yes, this gets into “extremism in defense of virtue is no vice” territory.) Going forward, Mammoliti says that city policy should prohibit festivals with a political message from getting city funding. It will be interesting to see how city staff respond, given the difficulty in defining what is and isn’t political. The debate around Pride is actually a great example of this, given the argument by some that QuAIA was politicizing a non-political event, while others argued that Pride is inherently political. While Mammoliti’s proposal sounds like he’s just trying to be consistent, categorizing events based on political-ness will probably end up being an even bigger headache.

‘Standing up for taxpayers is not creepy’: Mammoliti statement [National Post]Pride funding likely safe — for now, says Mammoliti [Toronto Star]

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