Local Government to Participate in Flag Raising Ceremony

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Once in a blue moon, our local government does something we can all get behind. As many people have heard, Russia is a real redneck fool when it comes to gay rights. Their government is opening its ugly mouth on the matter, again, as the Olympics start up. As part of a global, unified show of support for our gay brothers and sisters worldwide, municipalities throughout the province (and the world) will be raising the rainbow flag for the duration of the Sochi Olympics. And if you want to get your own flag to fly, the kind folks at Travel Bug are selling these flags at 50% off. “Out”Port Magazine Publisher, Josh Eddy, played a role in spearheading this movement locally.  St. John’s, Mount Pearl, Gander, Corner Brook, and Happy Valley Goose Bay, will all be raising a flag today. Darin King, Minister of Justice, and Steve Kent, Minister of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs, will participate in the ceremony, coinciding with the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The event will take place at 10:30 a.m. in front of Confederation Building, East Block. The general public is also invited to the flag raising at St. John’s City hall at 12:30pm. There will be speeches during the ceremony at St. John’s City Hall.

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1 Comment

  • I think it would also help if the trans and trans* pride flag was flown side by side with the pride flag, as St. John’s Pride Inc. did in July of 2013. There are trans and trans* (gender fluid, gender queer,etc.) individuals who has experienced transphobia locally nationally and internationally (abroad) from the LGB community. Trans people in Russia are also being discriminated against, yet the experiences of trans people is not being discussed. Trans individuals can often face discrimination from both the LGB community as well as the straight community. In the interest of justice, equality and solidarity, I humbly ask that the trans pride flag raised at the MUN St. John’s campus and the city of St. John’s raised in July of 2013, be raised again. In our province, gender identity and gender expression were only added explicitly to the NL human rights act in November of 2013. It took years of lobbying to get this change. So as we criticize the reign of homophobic, biphobic (bisexuals are often forgotten too, as are pansexuals, as well as gender queer people, aka gender nonconformists) and transphobic laws abroad, we also need to evaluate how countries other then Russia are doing on following the intent of human rights law and the Olympics charter, as well as in canada, North America and the west. There are still 4 or 5 Canadian provinces that do not explicitly protect gender identity and gender expression in their human rights act, and therefore, complaints of transphobia could fall on deaf ears. Why? Some provinces (like our own) had general non binding guidelines of how the act ought to be interpreted to include gender identity and gender expression, but they were not legally binding. This meant that our laws, if not transphobic, certainly were heteronormative and only acknowledging sexual orientation meant that LGB people were only seen as being distinct for their sexual orientation, yet had no legal protection for how they express their sexual orientation through their gender identity and gender expression. Once upon a time, canada had provisions in the criminal code decades ago not too far off from the anti gay laws in Russia, even more so in the USA. So we must also acknowledge the legacy of neo colonialism as even Aboriginal LGBT with identities such as being two-spirited were oppressed (and largely still are) for not being white male and straight. So as we oppose tyranny abroad, let’s make sure to fight the remains of neo colonial and colonial oppressive here at home and in countries like Russia but also Uganda, and many of the countries that still have the death sentence for being LGBT

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