MP Tracy Gray lashes out after being banned from Kelowna Pride events | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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MP Tracy Gray lashes out after being banned from Kelowna Pride events

FILE PHOTO - Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative MP Tracy Gray speaks to the House of Commons in Ottawa, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK
August 11, 2021 - 3:45 PM

Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative MP Tracy Gray has been officially banned from Kelowna Pride events this year for voting against a federal bill to ban conversion therapy.

But she’s not taking the snub lightly.

“It is sad Kelowna Pride is choosing to engage in partisan politics rather than actually discuss the fact that Bill C-6 did not pass immediately in the Senate with concerns cited over broadness in the legislation,” Gray said in an email to iNFOnews.ca. “It has been sent to a Senate Committee to be studied. The timing of their outrage prior to a likely election does not go unnoticed by our community.”

If a federal election is called before the Senate passes the anti-conversion bill, it will die there and not become law.

Gray was slammed by the Kelowna Task Force to Ban Conversion Therapy in July for the way she voted. They demanded a public apology and, after getting no response from her, asked the Kelowna Pride Society to ban her from their events this year. The task force, in its earlier criticism, complained that Gray did not consult them before casting her vote.

READ MORE: Former Kelowna Pride president wants to ban MP Tracy Gray from Pride events this year

The society made the ban official in a news release today, Aug. 11.

“At this time, MP Tracy Gray is banned from official participation in any Kelowna Pride events,” the release states. “We request that she stays away to ensure that Pride remains a safe space for those in the 2S-LGBTQIA+ community.”

It also calls on her to issue a “full and sincere” apology for the way she voted.

"I will not apologize for voting against flawed legislation and once again state that I am against conversion therapy,” Gray wrote.

When first questioned about why she voted against Bill C-6, Gray said, in part, that it was because it did not provide protection for parents or others who wanted to talk about sexual orientation with their children.

READ MORE: Kelowna's Tracy Gray only MP in region to vote against ban on conversion therapy

She also argued that she had shown support for the LGBTQ community by attending Gay Pride events in the past.

Gray, for her part, took exception to the fact that Kelowna Pride announced its decision through the media and didn’t contact her first.

"The question is if Kelowna Pride will ban the federal Liberals if an election is called by the Prime Minister which subsequently will stop Bill C-6 from becoming law,” she said in her written statement.

"Based on many members of the LGBTQ+ community who have reached out to me expressing their support, activist groups such as the Coalition of Kelowna-Lake Country 2S-LGBTQIA+ Citizens and Allies who wrote to Kelowna Pride asking for this decision — of which, no residents are listed on their communication — do not represent everyone in the LGBTQ+ community,” she added.

Conversion therapy is based on the theory that anyone who is not heterosexual can be converted. The practice is considered psychologically damaging by the LGBTQ community.

“MP Gray has demonstrated through her actions that she is no ally of the 2S-LGBTQIA+ community and therefore she is not welcome at upcoming Kelowna Pride events,” the Pride news release said.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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