Friday, 25 June 2010

TD Responds: We don't care if we are giving money *Bumped and updated* to anti-Semitic activists

*Bumped, scroll down for newer posts, Updated -see below*
Earlier today I wrote about TD Bank and Bud Light/Labatt's sponsorship of the upcoming Pride Parade in Toronto, which includes a number of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel floats and activists. I am putting TD's response below. SMW now says full steam ahead: BOYCOTT TD.

Thank you for your inquiry.

Pride Toronto, particularly the annual Pride Parade, has played and continues to play an important, some might say historic, role in raising awareness of and creating visibility for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. In the five years that TD has been a sponsor of Pride Week activities including the Parade, we have at times, been criticized for our involvement and support of such an event.

Our rationale for our sponsorship has not changed: to promote and celebrate diversity in communities where our valued customers, clients and employees live and work.

We have seen Pride Toronto deal with its share of controversy. Pride's roots are, of course, political. The most recent example of which you are aware: pressure to exclude certain LGBT activist political groups from participating in the Pride Parade, and pressure to protect freedom of expression and allow the participation of any and all LGBT groups.

This is not the first time that TD has been asked as a sponsor to withdraw, or threaten to withdraw our support from Pride Toronto. We have chosen not to withdraw our support and also not to dictate the terms of that support. We recognize that this is a very sensitive issue with strongly held and opposing views within and beyond the LGBT community.

We have confidence in Pride Toronto and in the broader LGBT community that both groups will find a way to move forward on this issue, as they have on other sensitive issues in the past.

This form letter has been circulating to many that have written to TD, and in response Blazing Cat Fur has created a nice little video tribute to our new favourite bank, who steadfastly defends their sponsorship of a parade which includes You-Need-Another-Holocaust Palestine House associates and anti-Semitic propaganda. Watch it now before they threaten to sue, which would be a bit funny since they are sooooooo supportive of "freedom of speech" that they are willing to pay for anti-Israel incitement. That's commitment.