LGBT union members and their labour allies were out and proud as more than one hundred labour activists and leaders joined together to march under the banner of Multi-Union Pride at this year’s Vancouver Pride Parade. The labour movement’s long commitment to ensuring gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered (LGBT) workers are treated with dignity and respect in the workplace and in the community were echoed in the rainbow message of solidarity displayed on labour’s pride float.
This year’s event in Vanocuver’s Westend, with almost half a million people coming together for Pride weekend, was a marked contrast to Vancouver’s first pride parade in 1973, with few marchers and few attendees. Since Vancouver’s first parade, the LGBT community has made many gains. Equality provisions like benefits for same-sex families, parental and adoption rights, prevention of workplace harassment, once only found in collective agreements, have since been enshrined in provincial and federal laws for union and non-union workers alike.
While the growing turnout for successive pride events shows the great gains made by our LGBT sisters and brothers, the event also allowed an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to building a more equal and respectful society.