An attempt to suppress an expression of LGBT inclusion in the Lower Mainland has backfired—LGBT allies in Delta are showing resourcefulness by ramping up their support for queer citizens.
On June 3, the Ladner United Church discovered that a rainbow flag it had displayed, raised for the United Church’s first Pride Sunday, was defaced with black paint.
In response, the City of Delta raised the Pride flag at Delta city hall today (June 5) for its first time to send a message of inclusion. The flag-raising event included attendance by the Delta Police Department and Delta Firefighters. The City of Delta informed the Georgia Straight that the flag will be flown for all of June to recognize Pride Month.
The Delta Police Department posted a message of support on social media, and also changed its profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook to include a rainbow flag.
They were soon joined by the Delta School District, which decided to also raise the rainbow flag today at the school board office.
Not stopping there, the school district will raise a second flag tomorrow (June 6) at the Delta Manor Education Centre.
The district will fly the flags for one week.
“We want to honour the fact that it is Pride Month and reaffirm our longstanding commitment to establishing and maintaining a safe and positive learning environment for all students and employees,” Delta Board of Education chairperson Laura Dixon stated in a news release.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.
In honour of the occasion, Pride flag-raising events are being held across the country, including in B.C. such as one held in Surrey on May 14. Also, the Royal Canadian Mint released a special coin in April to commemorate the anniversary, featuring a design by Vancouver artist Joe Average.
Meanwhile, the Ladner United Church will hold a service on Sunday (June 9) that will allow attendees to counter the vandalism by adding messages of inclusion to the defaced flag.