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Brian Burke marches in Toronto Pride parade

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Brian Burke marches in Toronto PrideThere's been so much written, both here and elsewhere, about the life and death of Brendan Burke that it almost seems redundant to add to it, but this is certainly worthy of a few more words. As he promised, today Brian Burke, Brendan's father and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, marched in the Toronto Pride parade to honor his late son.

Burke marched with P-FLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), wearing a Maple Leafs jersey with 'Brendan' written on the back and the number 88, Brendan's year of birth.

Because of last weekend's G-20 summit of world leaders, Toronto's gay pride celebration was moved back a week, causing today's parade to fall on the Independence Day holiday here in the United States. I find the timing interesting (or perhaps ironic -- time to consult Alanis Morissette again), seeing as how Canada is so far ahead of the USA in equal treatment of the LGBT community.

In the wake of the Stanley Cup's appearance in the Chicago Pride parade, Burke's living up to the promise he made to Brendan adds to the school of thought that the first openly gay male player in the major pro sports leagues in North America may indeed come from the NHL.