OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with Flags
The town of Truro, Nova Scotia, has backed out of an agreement to fly an AIDS awareness flag on World AIDS Day later this month.
Truro, in case you forgot, is the town that refused to fly a Pride flag in August. The Mayor rationalized that decision with his famous press announcement: “If I have a group of people that says pedophiles should have rights, do we raise their flag too?”
Unlike the Pride flag fiasco, the town previously agreed to fly the AIDS-awareness flag, but is now backing down. The town says their newly-formed policy to fly government flags only supersedes any existing agreements.
No flags for anyone. Yeah, that ought to solve the issue.
- Town won’t fly AIDS flag [Truro Daily News]
Hey, kids! Well, I’ve successfully defended my master’s thesis, and now it’s time to head even further west to see family. While on the road, here are some stories and updates that caught my eye:
The town of Truro, Nova Scotia, has adopted an official flag-flying policy to avoid any more situations like this summer’s Pride flag fiasco, in which the mayor compared gays to pedophiles. The new policy is straightforward, too: From now on, government flags only.
Statistics from the 2006 national census are in, and when it comes to the same-sex figures, things are clearly up for interpretation:
- 30 percent rise in same-sex couples: census [Xtra]
- Canada has only a sprinkling of gay couples: census [Reuters]
Speaking of census data, a Calgary SUN article has asserted: “Calgary is holding the fort in a country where the notion of the traditional family is increasingly under siege, states a federal census.” Really? The federal census states the traditional family is under siege? Or perhaps this is just a little bit of phrasing bias coming from Alberta’s gayest city.
With all the attention Alvaro Orozco has been getting, there’s a great article in NOW magazine reminding us that this is not an isolated case. Leonardo Zuniga, another gay refugee, is slated for deportation within the next few weeks. Why not take a couple minutes to help him out?
Until Friday, kids!
Sharon Laura Farrell of Nova Scotia was baffled by the abusive, homophobic telephone calls she received this week. That is, until she discovered that she had the same name as a Truro woman who organized a gay rights rally on Monday. The rally was held in protest of Mayor Bill Wills’ comparison of gays to pedophiles after the town voted to not fly a gay pride flag at city hall.
Sharon Laura Farrell, who had no knowledge of the rally or the flag dispute, was shocked at what she heard:
It really doesn’t matter who they were intended for. No one should ever have to deal with the phone calls I got today. I certainly didn’t appreciate the very negative tone of those calls.
When I told [a particular caller] she had the wrong person, it didn’t seem to matter. It was an exasperating phone call because I don’t tolerate people yelling at me on the phone. I finally told her she had the wrong person and hung up.
Eventually, Ms. Farrell became so fed up with the abuse that she contacted Sharon Farrell, the rally organizer, and became involved in gay rights.
I was very impressed with [the organizer]. She is very sincere and she was aghast that anyone would go to such great lengths to get a phone number or to make phone calls like that. I was impressed by her stand. It got me involved.
Good for you, Sharon and Sharon!
Flashback: The year is 1989 and—oh, wait, no. I misread something. Let’s try this again.
August, 2007: The town council of Truro, Nova Scotia (population 11,700) has voted 6-1 against raising a Pride flag at city hall during the city’s gay pride week. The mayor, Bill Mills, decides to let his words speak louder than actions:
If I have a group of people that says pedophiles should have rights, do we raise their flag too? I don’t want to lump them in with homosexuals, but that’s the point—the issues—and that’s my feeling.
Gays and lesbians already have equal opportunities and work and pension benefits; I wonder what else they’re fighting for.
So, what else are gay people fighting for? Freedom from being publicly compared to pedophiles by ignorant mayors is a good start. I am not a criminal.
You see, the folks running Truro are unusually slow at understanding the Pride flag. Bill Mills considers it a display of arrogance—a means to “flaunt a lifestyle” to those who don’t care to see it. He’s the type of person who emails me now and then to ask why gays are so insistent on visibility when there isn’t a straight pride flag or straight pride parade.
My take is simple: Pride flags exists because pride is the opposite of shame, which is precisely how people like Mills would have us gays feel. The “lifestyle” I’m supposedly flaunting is, in reality, no different from anyone else’s, but there’s a lot I’ve had to put up with. Pride is a fitting symbol: I am proud of having overcome the misinformation I was fed over the years about gay people; I’m proud of overcoming the personal struggle to accept who I am; and I’m especially proud of how I continue to overcome ignorant policy-makers, lobbyists, journalists, individuals, and churches who don’t hesitate to attack me at every opportunity.
Raising the Pride flag is not an “endorsement” of any particular lifestyle—and certainly not the lifestyle that Mayor Mills has chosen to assign to all of a diverse group. Rather, it’s a gesture of dignity and recognition of a minority’s struggle that, if refused in this manner, re-enforces the purpose of why that symbol exists. Mayor Mills may not care to see the Pride flag one week a year, but I have to put up with discriminatory nonsense all the time.
Incidentally, municipal proclamations such as flag raising are generally considered a public service of city hall.
A tip o’ the hat to Devin Maxwell, who grew up in Truro.
- N.S. town council votes against raising pride flag [CTV News]
- Truro in gay flag flap [CBC News]
- Truro mayor: It’s not OK to be gay [Chronicle Herald]
Officials and community members in Niagara Falls have been left scratching their heads after the first-ever gay pride flag to be flown over city hall went missing a mere four hours after its raising ceremony.
So far, there’s no word on what happened to the flag or if it has been replaced. Although, after years of following these sorts of stories, I think it’s clear who took it: Mutant seagulls.