01/12/2018 06:47 EST | Updated 01/12/2018 08:01 EST

London, Ont., mayor apologizes for city denying 1995 Pride weekend

LONDON, Ont. — The mayor of London, Ont., says the city has failed to recognize in the past that LGBTQ rights are human rights, but that it is time to take action against hatred and unfairness.  

Mayor Matt Brown formally apologized today for the city's 1995 refusal to recognize Pride weekend.

Brown said London has come a long way in the past 20 years, but still has a long way to go in respecting and supporting the LGBTQ community.

Then-mayor Dianne Haskett denied a request from London's gay community to declare a Pride weekend in July 1995, prompting a complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Haskett said she was exercising her discretion as mayor when it comes to civic proclamations, but the commission later ruled the actions by Haskett and council had been discriminatory.

Brown said that he and his staff are all taking special training to ensure city hall is an LGBTQ-positive space.