School trustee want nudity laws enforced at Toronto Pride parade

A parade participant waves a rainbow flag during the Toronto Gay Pride Parade held in downtown...

A parade participant waves a rainbow flag during the Toronto Gay Pride Parade held in downtown Toronto, July 3, 2011. (QMI Agency files)

Maryam Shah, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:11 PM ET

TORONTO - A Toronto District School Board trustee wants to know if laws against public nudity will be enforced at this year's Pride parade.

Sam Sotiropoulos, trustee for Ward 20, has drafted a motion asking for TDSB chair Chris Bolton to “immediately write a letter” to Mayor Rob Ford and Toronto city council “asking them to clarify whether or not the public nudity law of Canada will be upheld and enforced at future Pride events in which the TDSB participates.”

Seconded by trustees Irene Atkinson and John Hastings, the motion is expected at a school board meeting Wednesday evening.

Atkinson said the intent of the motion is “to hopefully stop full nudity at the Pride parade.”

“It happens,” she said. “I've got a photograph of a man, full-frontal nudity.”

While she's attended Pride in the past, she has not seen "full nudity” she said.

“I guess people who are concerned about full nudity running around in the streets will vote in favour of it,” Atkinson said. “Those who don't care will vote against it. As simple as that.”

Considering the TDSB has a float in this year's parade, Pride Toronto board co-chair Sean Hillier said he's a “tad disappointed” with the motion.

“I don't know what the intents behind this motion are,” Hillier said. “I would hope it's coming from a place that isn't homophobic, subtle or otherwise.”

In the past the parade has seen nude attendees, he said, but they are a “very small minority of the 1.22 million that attend our festival.”

“We do not police our events in terms of nudity but we do work very closely with the Toronto Police Service to ensure that everybody feels safe and welcome at the event itself,” Hillier said.

The festival – scheduled for June 20-29 - has spaces for families “where we do makeup and costumes and we have performers and entertainers for children,” he said.

As far as he knows, the trustees never contacted the organization directly.

“To my knowledge, TDSB hasn't reached out to us to express concern,” Hillier said.

The school board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight.

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