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Capital Pride issued the following statement in response to an apparent act of vandalism of the Rainbow Crosswalk on Bank Street:

Hate-motivated acts of vandalism have no place in our community.

Today’s news that the rainbow crosswalks at Bank Street and Somerset Street appear to have been vandalised overnight is deeply troubling. While the incident continues to be investigated, it follows a disturbing trend of vandalism of pride symbols – and particularly of rainbow crosswalks – across the country, including in Wasaga Beach, Gananoque, Vancouver, Lethbridge, Nanaimo, Prescott, and Barrie.

As we reflect on the many important discussions taking place this week, it remains important to recognise that members of the the 2SLGBTQ+ community have long been victims of violence, as have Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, immigrants, religious groups and many others. This act reminds us of the need to continue to challenge and resist all forms of oppression, including homophobia and transphobia, wherever they may arise.

The theme of this year’s Pride celebrations, We Still Demand, is meant as both a reminder of the work that remains to be done to achieve full equality for 2SLGBTQ+ people in Canada, and a call-to-action for community members and allies alike to take a stand when they witness these types of hate-motivated incidents.

As the community joins together to celebrate the 2021 Capital Pride Festival, we remain committed to our efforts to build a more inclusive community.

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