The President of the Kamloops Pride Society supports the city’s decision to ban the flying of all community flags and banners on city property for the time being.
Kristin McLaughlin says the city was supportive when they were asked to fly the Pride Flag in the past.
“However, when the brought the community flagpole in, I don’t know if there were particularly stringent criteria around what flags could be flown,” she said. “And so I think the city is seeing there is potential for it to be a divisive issue, depending on the flags that are flown.”
“I think it makes sense to take a bit of a pause and see what the criteria should be.”
McLaughlin went on to say if the Pride flag can’t be flown at City Hall, there are many other ways to show their support for Pride.
“It’s not flying the flag or getting into the parade for a week a year,” she added. “It’s year-round, getting involved with issues that matter to groups in the city.”
She doesn’t support the often raised argument of ‘if you fly one flag, you have to fly all flags.’
“Sometimes we’re comparing apples to orange. I’m talking about flags that celebrate equity-seeking groups that are protected under human rights grounds or cultural or community events,” McLaughlin added.
“That is not synonymous with flying flags that are from political interest groups or clubs. To me, they’re not really the same thing.”
The city is looking at policies to ensure all legal requirements are satisfied under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.