SURREY (NEWS 1130) — LGBTQ activists in Surrey are raising concerns after the City has refused to fly the pride flag despite requests from the community.
Surrey Pride Society asked the city to raise the flag to mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada, but the request was shot down because of the city’s current flag policy.
Society president Martin Rooney says he’s disappointed with the decision not to raise the flag due to the city’s current flag policy and practice, considering other flags have been raised there before.
"Based on our current flag policy and practice, will not participate in this opportunity as described in your correspondence" – @CityofSurrey's response to @SurreyPride's request to raise the pride flag at city hall. @CityNewsVAN @BT_Vancouver @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/6Xyvyom2vd
— Ashley Grace Burr (@AshleyBurr_) May 26, 2019
He says since Surrey’s the second largest city in all of B.C., it’s important to promote inclusivity and to accept differences, especially in the LGBTQ community.
“I just think it would be absolutely fabulous if the second largest city in the province was to embrace true diversity, fly the flag even if it was for one day,” he says. “If it was to save one life than it would be worthwhile.”
He says the decision is shocking, adding that in a diverse city like Surrey acceptance and tolerance is key.
“It’s a matter of principle. Surrey promotes its diversity,” he says. “Unfortunately, I think in this city, diversity refers to ethnicity.”
The City of Surrey raised the pride flag in 2016 after the attacks on a gay nightclub in Orlando. The pride flag was raised in 2016 following the Pulse Orlando massacre,” he says. “It has flown on a city flag pole.”
He says since Surrey’s the second largest city in all of BC, it’s important to promote inclusivity and to accept differences, especially in the LGBTQ community.
Rooney has asked council and the Mayor to reconsider, but says he’s not gotten a response yet.