Clearview flies pride flag at hub

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Clearview Township will fly the pride flag for the second time after Councillor Connie Leishman asked for an exception to a municipal policy.

“I am tired of saying no when I am the kind of person who wants to include everybody,” said Leishman. “We are Clearview. A lot of people feel disenfranchised from the township… One day it will be a moot point but now, it is front and centre.”

The discussion was in response to a request from Fierté Simcoe Pride to fly the rainbow flag “in celebration of diversity, to raise awareness and promote equality” from July 30 to August 12.

“This recognition would be a valued recognition of the diversity of our community, honouring the lives and contributions of people of all gender and sexual diversities throughout the county,” wrote Fierté Simcoe Pride president Brandon Rhèal Amyot.

Councillor Doug Measures suggested, instead of flying it at town hall, the flag be raised at the emergency hub, where flags in support of other causes (fire prevention, support the troops and blood donation) are displayed. 

“And it is more visible, being on the highway,” said Measures.

Deputy Mayor Barry Burton spoke in opposition to the exception. 

“I support the proclamation but it is a mistake to give priority to a special interest group,” said Burton. 

Kevin Elwood and Robert Walker also voted against the motion but there were enough votes to pass the request.

In 2017, 22 communities in Simcoe participated in Pride with a flag raising and/or proclamation. 

Clearview last flew the flag in 2014 and council has been divided on the issue since.

2018 marks the seventh annual festival organized by Fierté Simcoe Pride, a not-for-profit organization that organizes year-round activities for the lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and allied community of Simcoe County.

The Rainbow Pride flag is raised to honour gender and sexual diversity in Simcoe County. The Rainbow Flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in San Francisco in 1978 and is symbol of the Pride movement and the advancement of human rights for sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics. 

The colour red signifies life; orange is healing; yellow is sunlight; green represents nature; blue symbolizes serenity, peace and harmony; and purple represents spirit.

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