2019-07-24

Rainbow flags fly proudly over South Shore communities after flag-raising ceremonies

by Gayle Wilson

  • <p>PHOTO BY GAYLE WILSON</p><p>Raising the Pride flag at the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) admin building July 16. Lef to right: Bernadette Jordan, MP for South Shore-St. Margaret&#8217;s and Rural Economic Development Minister, MODL Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Phil Hopewell and Steve Ellis.</p>
  • <p>GAYLE WILSON PHOTO</p><p>Municipalities throughout Lunenburg and Queens are or will be raising Rainbow or Pride flags this month in support of the LGBTQ-2S community.</p>

About 35 people gathered at the flag pole outside the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) administration building July 16 for the municipality's fourth annual Rainbow or Pride flag raising ceremony July 16.

The group included MODL council members and staff, the MP for South Shore-St. Margaret's, Bernadette Jordan, and members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters.

Steve Ellis and Phil Hopewell, who are married to each other and live in LaHave, assisted Jordan and Bolivar-Getson in raising the flag.

Ellis said that it's important the flag-raising ceremonies continue. "It's a good reminder of how far we've come. But we always have to keep going. We can't ever be complacent," he told LighthouseNOW.

Jordan stressed the importance of Pride flag-raising ceremonies. "Although it seems like we've come a long way, there's still some backsliding happening."

The MP, who is also Minister for Rural Economic Development, told the gathering she had a letter from someone who told her that, although he thought she was a good MP, since she flies the Pride flag in her office window, he couldn't support her.

"I have a really hard time with that," said Jordan, whose son is gay.

"This is very personal for me. This isn't just about a special day, or a special month. This is a life," she said of the ceremony.

MODL's mayor, Carolyn Bolivar-Getson said special events such as the flag raising shows "how fortunate we are to live in a province where diversity is celebrated and embraced."

However, she added it's the responsibility of all communities across the province to provide an environment "that is both respectful and understanding of all."

The Town of Bridgewater (July 18) and the Town of Lunenburg (July 19) held similar events on July 18 and 19, respectively.

Region of Queens Municipality flies the rainbow flag on a special purpose flag pole on the Liverpool waterfront for the two-week period during Halifax Pride Festival, July 17 to 31, while the Town of Mahone Bay has flown the Rainbow flag since July 1.

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