A Celebratory Kind of Day

Feb 2, 2008 Full story: Politics'n'Poetry

Today is the day that replaced Imbolc , an ancient celebration of the goddess, Brighid. via Politics'n'Poetry

Full Story

“Continually Updated from Net”

Since: Jan 07

A PBS place in an MTV world

#1 Feb 5, 2008
Sun, February 3, 2008

Protest brews over pageant

Beauty judge kicked off panel because of controversial Wiccan beliefs, group charges

By JENNY YUEN, SUN MEDIA

There was definitely some "double, double, toil and trouble" yesterday afternoon outside the Radisson Plaza Hotel Admiral on Queen's Quay W., where the Miss Toronto Tourism pageant was being held.

Local witches picketed for four hours in support of Stephanie Conover, the 23-year-old Miss Toronto Tourism Pageant judge ousted for her Wiccan beliefs.

"They're discriminating her based on their perception of what they deemed to be dark activity that's she involved in," said protest organizer Tracey Hayes. "I've had ministers who practise reiki (a Japanese healing art) who are just flabbergasted."

Conover, who retains the title of Miss Canada Plus, received an invitation to judge the pageant three weeks earlier but after listing her interests as reiki, yoga and tarot cards, the MTT committee kicked her off the panel.

In a letter, the committee said her beliefs were "not acceptable by God, Jews, Muslims or Christians."

At the rally, Conover told the Sun she plans to file a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission next week.

"I think it's a landmark case because there are a lot of religions that might be a little bit smaller and not get as much attention, but that doesn't mean they're any less valid or deserve any less respect," she said.

The pageant's director, Karyn Murray, declined comment.

But Miss Toronto Tourism board member Ainslie Baillie denied Conover's rejection was tied to Wiccan beliefs.

"This pagan conference was calling up our sponsors and threatening them," she said. "I was just told that she wasn't qualified. A lot of it has to do with judging experience, not religion."

Mias Santana-Piler, the pageant's 2001 winner, told the crowd of 25 outside that "everybody's entitled to their own opinion and respect. Karyn believes in her own way and remember,(this) is a privatized pageant. I wish Stephanie the best."

Protester Richard James, a member of the Wiccan Church of Canada, shot back, "If you wished Stephanie the best, why are you working for an organization that calls her not acceptable?"

Miss Toronto Tourism promotes the city's attractions and is not affiliated with Tourism Toronto or the city.

http://www.torontosun.com/News/TorontoAndGTA/...
Ainslie Baillie

Toronto, Canada

#2 Nov 27, 2008
Just to let everybody know, I was not involved in the decision to disqualify Stefanie as a judge.... I was told after the fact that 2 of the 3 board members (both of them born again Christians - which I am not) - I was the 3rd and not included in this decision which ultimately I resigned from the pageant on Monday,February 4th, as I did not agree with their decision and would never discriminate any human being.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Spring Equinox Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Spring puts the petal to the metal (Mar '13) Mar '13 Sunflower 1
Photos: 4th International Nowruz Festival in As... (Mar '13) Mar '13 MAKEDONIA ALWAYS ... 1
North Adams: Sundial to be topic of illustrated... (Mar '13) Mar '13 Good Idea 2
The Origin of 'Easter,' Bunnies and Eggs (Apr '12) Apr '12 yolanda castaneda 1
Resurrection Sunday begins Easter Season (Apr '12) Apr '12 paul shykora arts 2
Meeting will explain paganism, common misconcep... (Mar '12) Mar '12 Jumper 1
Mesa church brings Paganism out of the dark (Mar '12) Mar '12 CShine 3

Spring Equinox People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE