City hall has changed its attitude.
More than 22 years after former London mayor, Dianne Haskett and city council refused to issue a gay pride proclamation, Matt Brown quite literally stepped to the podium to make amends.
Mayor Brown stood outside the front entrance of city hall late Friday morning and gave a formal apology to a crowd of close to 100 allies and supporters of the LGBT+ community on behalf of the city of London.
— Pride London Fest (@prideldnfest) January 12, 2018
The mayor recognized that the apology was long overdue; likely one of the reasons he bypassed the approval process of council to issue the statement in the first place.
“Its time… actually its far past due, to make this apology, for the city of London’s intolerant, and insensitive, and homophobic actions of the past” -Mayor Matt Brown
The mayor’s statement came at the recommendation of Megan Walker who was a city councillor at the time of the 1995 transgression against the LGBT+ community. Walker also gave a speech, at one point referencing the symbolic success that the city’s pride parade has become.
“What a gathering it is every single year, where it grows and grows and instead of protestors on the side of the road, we see people clapping and cheering and saying ‘we stand with you!’ and ‘we appreciate what you’ve done’ for every individual in [London]” -Megan Walker
Also on hand was Richard Hudler, the former president of the Homophile Association of London Ontario (commonly known as HALO). Hudler played an instrumental role in the fight for gay rights in London after taking the city’s 1995 failed recognition of gay life to the Ontario Human Rights Commission on behalf of HALO, receiving a ruling that the the city had indeed discriminated against the LGBT+ community.