- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A gay Toronto police officer penned an open letter criticizing Toronto Pride for virtually caving to protesters’ demands Sunday after Black Lives Matter activists temporarily shut down Canada’s largest gay pride parade and demanded it exclude police floats from future events.

Black Lives Matter, which was invited to march in Toronto Pride as an honorary group, stalled the parade for about 30 minutes and demanded an end to police floats and a commitment to increase representation among Pride Toronto staff.

Toronto Pride Director Mathieu Chantelois met with the protesters and signed off on the list of demands. Co-chair Aaron GlynWilliams later said the signing was only done to get the parade moving again, The Daily Caller reported.

Toronto Police Service Constable Chuck Krangle, a Canadian Armed Forces veteran, responded to the demands Monday, writing, “Exclusion does not promote inclusion.”

“The support that I have from my peers and supervisors has been unwavering,” he wrote in an open letter to Toronto Pride. “When I saw all those floats and officers marching (hundreds), I realized that my employer fully supports this part of me, and so many others like me. As I stood post at Yonge and College, ensuring a safe atmosphere, Chief Mark Saunders came up to me. I had the opportunity to salute him, and I knew that I had a leader who was invested in this celebration of Pride.

“LGBTQ cops have struggled for decades. I am fortunate, because it is their struggles in the past, that have made my orientation an irrelevant factor in my workplace interactions. Members of police services, and their employers (like RBC, Telus, Porter, etc.) have just as much right to participate as any other group,” he continued.

“Police officers are significantly represented in the LGBTQ community and it would be unacceptable to alienate and discriminate against them and those who support them. They too struggled to gain a place and workplace free from discrimination and bias,” Constable Krangle wrote. “I do not speak for the police, and I do not speak for the LGBTQ community. I speak as an individual, one who saw his first Pride, only to be excluded from the next.”

Toronto Pride organizers said Monday that they are continuing a “conversation” with Black Lives Matter activists, but denied they agreed to banning police floats, the Global News reported.

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