N.S. council stirs controversy with flag policy




PICTOU, N.S. -- Another municipal council in Nova Scotia has found itself caught up in a controversy surrounding the flying of flags and homosexuality.

The latest debate erupted Monday night after Pictou County Council voted 7-6 in favour of allowing only the national, provincial, county and First Nations flags to be raised by the municipality.

Coun. David Parker, who voted against limiting which flags can be raised, said he was "ashamed'' that council had "blatantly discriminated'' against the gay and lesbian community.

A member of the gay community, Jane Morrigan, said Warden Allister MacDonald should resign.

But MacDonald, who supports the new measure, insisted the policy does not discriminate against homosexuals.

"I have not seen that anybody is against the gay community,'' the warden said. "They just felt that it was a fair policy.''

A similar policy was adopted last year by town council in Truro, N.S., after an earlier decision to not raise the gay pride flag was met with public howls of protest.

The Pictou warden said Monday that without measures to restrict flags, council could have possibly been asked to raise flags for groups which "may not be acceptable.''

But Morrigan, who was the only member of the gay and lesbian community to speak at the Pictou meeting, called the decision homophobic.

"I am entirely, 100 per cent disappointed and unimpressed with this council,'' she said.
"I intend to demand the resignation of this warden . . . and a change of leadership, because we don't have leadership here. We have followers.''

Last year in Truro, after the controversy over the pride flag, town council approved a policy that allows only the Canadian, Nova Scotian and Truro flags to be hoisted on municipal poles.

Instead, community groups can apply to raise banners around town.

The town's deputy mayor also read a prepared statement on behalf of councillors who wanted to distance themselves from Mayor Bill Mills's personal comments about homosexuals.

In the statement, they apologized "for the anguish and hurt suffered by every member of this community as a result of the mayor's comments.''

Mills had earlier said he did not condone homosexuality because of his religious beliefs.

How is it homophobic to not allow them to raise the gay flag at our city/town halls? That's not repression or anti-gay.... that's just plain common sense people.

Homosexuals are not running the country and do not run our cities and towns... at least not to the level in which they should have their flags raised beside our Canadian and Provincial flags.

The same goes for any organization with a flag. If you allow one, then you have to allow them all, or then you end up with a headache of picking and choosing who can and can not have their flags raised on government property. Either that or you have a pile of flag poles down the street for all the organizations and groups who want to display their flag.

This was the only logical solution I could see being used. Nobody should loose their job over this and I think Morrigan should spend his/her time on something a bit more important then the ability to raise some rainbow flag at town/city hall.

What do they plan to accomplish with a flag there anyways? It's not going to make everybody who hates gays go "Oh... they have a flag at City Hall... they can't be all bad"

I have nothing against homosexuals, and have a few in my family who are, but I think this is yet another example of one group of people or organization trying to overstep their positions in society, which should be equal to everyone else.

If you allow a flag for homosexuals, then allow a flag for straight people.... perhaps a flag with a ***** going into a ****** or something. Sounds stupid doesn't it?

Canada should be diverse and tollerant enough to not require sticking flags up in reconition of gender, race, religion, whatever on government property to express that we do. It should be a given and acted as such. The more you point out one group of people and bring attention to them more then others, then the more divisions you create. If we're supposed to be all equal and all the same, then act like it.
Last edited by Praxius; Feb 5th, 2008 at 01:04 PM..
Gays aren't a nation. They aren't a land. They aren't a distinct people. If you allow the flying of the gay pride flag, then you have to allow the flying of a host of others. It would be ridiculous.
Yeah - I'm kinda against the rainbow flag thing too. City hall should fly flags of political jurisdictions - the nation, the province and the city. That's it.

Anything else is, well, cheapening to the other flags, and is taking an institutional political stand. Individual politicians can take whatever stand they want - the gay flag would put one group in primacy to all others. To be fair, every other group would also have to have their flag represented.

No special interest or group flags means everyone is welcome and represented.

....Thats pretty stupid... They arent a National Group or People...therfore government Buildings dont have to fly it at all. Thats like me making a flag with my face on it and saying if you dont fly this all the extreamly handsome men will be very pissed off.

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