Apology right, process wrong, critics say

It’s the right thing to do — but the wrong way to go about it.

That’s the stance of some politicians and citizens who wish Mayor Matt Brown hadn’t sidestepped council in his plan to apologize to the gay community.

Brown will issue a formal apology Friday for then-mayor Dianne Haskett’s refusal to issue a gay pride proclamation back in 1995 - writes lfpress.com.

But the apology on the steps of city hall at 11 a.m. will come from the mayor alone, without the backing of council. He never asked his colleagues — in fact, they found out at the same time as the rest of London.

The apology is a crucial step for London, most agree, but the process behind it has irked a few.

“When we were elected, people said they wanted us to work together,” Coun. Phil Squire said. “I think it would have been great if this had been brought to council and we could have all joined in to this process.”

Brown stood by his decision.

“This is about doing what I believe is the correct action to right a historical wrong,” he said.

It’s fitting that apology comes from the mayor, because it was the mayor of the day, Haskett — a Christian fundamentalist — who unilaterally refused to issue the proclamation, Brown added.

Two years after the episode made headlines, the Ontario Human Rights Commission ruled against Haskett and the city and ordered they pay a $10,000 fine for discrimination.

It set a tone in the city, and many members of the LGBTQ community say Brown’s apology is a symbolic way to move past that dark chapter once and for all.

“It’s another step in the healing process, compared to how we were made to feel all those years ago,” said Shawn Lewis, a gay Londoner.

Coun. Josh Morgan said it’s important for the mayor to apologize when a city has made a mistake. But he also said he’d welcome the chance to validate the apology at council.

“I would also be very supportive of casting my vote as a councillor on this should the opportunity arise,” Morgan said.

Read more news of London on our site.

Apologyright London LGBTQcommunity
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

No results found.