Surrey to hold Pride flag-raising ceremony to commemorate 50th anniversary of decriminalization of homosexuality

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      The Pride flag will be raised tomorrow in Surrey as part of a national campaign to observe the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.

      Fierté Canada Pride, the national organization of Canadian Pride organizations, has launched a campaign entitled Standing By Our Colours—Affichons nos Couleurs which includes 50 flag-raising ceremonies to commemorate 50 years since the federal government decriminalized homosexuality.

      In 1967, then federal Minister of Justice Pierre Trudeau tabled the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1968-69, an omnibus bill with provisions that included the decriminalization of same-sex activity between consenting adults over the age of consent of 21. It was passed in 1969.

      In comparison, the Stonewall Riots, credited with the rise of the gay liberation movement (which became the LGBT rights movement), took place in the U.S. in 1969. Decriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. took place state by state, starting with Illinois in 1962 and continuing until 2003.

      Back on April 23 of this year, the Royal Canadian Mint released a coin commemorating LGBT progress in Canada featuring a design by Vancouver artist Joe Average.

      A special collector's edition pure-silver version of the 2019 Equality coin has been issued in limited mintage.
      Royal Canadian Mint

      Here in B.C., the Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) is organizing campaign events which will include flag-raising ceremonies in eight communities in the province.

      Surrey Pride will host an event at noon tomorrow (May 14) at SFU Surrey (250–13450 102 Avenue) on a flagpole on the second floor mezzanine. More information is available at the event's Facebook webpage.

      Guest speakers will include Surrey RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Elenore Sturko and more.

      Other flag-raising ceremonies will be held across B.C. with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Kootenay Pride, Tri-Cities Pride,  Kamloops Pride, Cowichan Pride, North Island Price, and North Peace Pride.

      Meanwhile in other local Pride news, the VPS’ call for nominations for grand marshals for the 2019 Vancouver Pride parade will close on Wednesday (May 15).

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.