Canadian city votes against allowing group to fly straight pride flag
A small Canadian city that only held its first LGBTQ pride celebration last month has unanimously voted this week against allowing a group called “It’s Great to be Straight” to fly a straight pride flag at City Hall, according to new reports.
The city council in Airdrie, Alberta, received a letter from a group organizer named Larry Boland, who argued that straight people are an “oppressed majority,” according to local outlet DiscoverAirdrie.com.
“[Straight people] are the 95 percent of the population looking for equality with the LGBQT community,” the letter said. “We will fight for the right of straights everywhere to express pride in themselves without fear of judgment and hate. The day will come when straights will finally be included as equals among all the other orientations.”
Boland called for the Straight Pride flag to be flown at City Hall on Aug. 12 — and for “the ability to organize ‘Straight Parades’ in our communities as do the LGBQT who are allowed to do so with endorsement from public officials.”
The letter was also sent to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, as well as all other United Conservative Party legislators.
Councillor Al Jones told the outlet that the letter raises several concerns.
“The original request on face value was not unreasonable, they were looking for equal rights,” he said. “But, when you got into the body of their request, that’s when you discover that they don’t actually identify anything that they’re lacking in rights. It seems more about preventing certain rights of other groups.”
Jones told the CBC that he walked alongside the LGBTQ community during a June 22 solidarity walk, part of the city’s first pride celebration.
“Straight people, I would argue, were the majority of the crowd that day, and the park was packed,” he said. “I do not believe anyone was excluded unless they excluded themselves.”
And Airdrie Councillor Tina Petrow teared up during the Tuesday council meeting — declaring that the organization should be grateful that there’s no need for a straight pride flag or parade, rather than trying to push for one, according to the CBC.
“The flag that’s being sent to us today … is working solely to exclude one section of our population. Whereas the pride flag does the exact opposite,” Petrow said. “It flies to celebrate the diverse culture we have and the acceptance of everyone’s choices.”
The council agreed to file the letter as correspondence and nothing more — basically the equivalent of receiving a text message but never responding to it, according to the reports.
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