Loading articles...

Surrey rejects requests to fly pride flag to commemorate LGBTQ milestone

Last Updated May 26, 2019 at 7:12 pm PDT

Summary

The president of the Surrey Pride Society is sounding the alarm over concerns the city won't raise the Pride flag

The society says in order to be truly inclusive, Surrey needs to do more to help the LGBTQ community.

The pride flag was raised at Surrey City Hall in 2016 after the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando

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.

RELATED: Vancouver Pride Society one of three Canadian LGBTQ groups to get new federal funds

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.

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.”

RELATED: Surrey church under fire for exclusive ‘Christian only’ anti-SOGI event

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.