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CUPE made a big impression at the Calgary Pride parade June 10, with the largest delegation in the parade – and an eye-catching float festooned with flags, balloons, banners and pink and black triangles.

While the media focused on Tory leader Joe Clark who served as marshall for this year’s parade, the crowds who lined the streets called out warm greetings to the CUPE delegation.

CUPE members from across the country joined Alberta activists as members of the National Rainbow Committee and the Women’s Committee joined Pink Triangle Committee members for the parade. The equity committees planned a joint meeting to coincide with the parade, demonstrating that the fight against discrimination is everyone’s fight. They were also joined by GVP Terry Mutton and members of the Alberta division executive.

Joey Sayer, a member of the National Pink Triangle Committee, called on the Klein government to catch up with other Canadian provinces and recognize same sex couples.

We’re here to send a strong signal to the Klein government that dragging its heels on equality rights for lesbians and gays isn’t acceptable,” said Sayer.

The federal government and four other provincial governments have already amended their laws to ensure they protect our rights under the Charter and two other provinces have introduced legislation to make the needed changes,” said Sayer. “The Charter is clear. The courts have been clear. The equality rights of same-sex couples must be respected. So what’s the province waiting for?”

The Calgary Pride Parade was the largest ever, drawing thousands from the gay and lesbian community and their families, friends and allies. CUPE’s “Pride in CUPE” tattoos and ‘positive space’ magnets were a big hit with the crowd.