Diversity Day opposed

York city Councillor Jeffrey Dawson wants residents to tell council members how they feel about the possibility of the mayor proclaiming Diversity Day.
Such a day would celebrate gays and various ethnic and religious groups.
In an e-mail response on the topic to anti-gay pastor Stephen Boisson, Dawson wrote: “The politically expedient way to deal with this is to just give in to the gay movement and not let council debate the issue.
“I will try my hardest to prevent that but to be successful I need you and everyone you know to contact all of council and encourage them to do everything in their power to prevent the degradation of our community values.
“By the way, don’t let any of them tell you that there is nothing they can do to stop it, tell them to get some backbone and stand up for family values.”
The quote was included in a letter Boisson wrote the York Advocate.
Dawson confirmed Monday that the quote was accurate.
Diversity Day was an option to Gay Pride Day that a group of local gays were to discuss Monday before meeting with Mayor Gail Surkan on Tuesday.
That meeting is so she can get an understanding of the group’s goals.
A spokesperson with the group could not be reached Monday, but last week Jeff Sloychuk said the group would consider holding a Diversity Day as an option to Gay Pride Day.
It would include different ethnic groups, races and religions.
Sloychuk said last week his group, Pride on Campus, which is based out of York College, would consider delaying a planned gay pride event June 28 to expand it to include other groups.
Another option, he said, was to proceed with Gay Pride Day without the mayor’s proclamation.
Sloychuk told the Advocate his group would rather work with the community than against it.
Planned celebrations include a picnic at Kin Kanyon, a workshop, film and dance.
Dawson said the city’s business should be administering York and looking out for the better good of the whole community.
“I don’t believe celebrating or parading around someone’s sexual orientation has any business with the city as far as proclaiming it.”
He said the city’s current policy allows the mayor to proclaim special days without necessarily having council discuss them first.
“Proclamations of the City of York at one time were considered an honour to receive,” Dawson said.
“Over the years, they have degraded to the point where basically anyone can get a proclamation for anything.”
Dawson suggested the city should not be proclaiming things that are not of great general interest to the community.