Mayor Bill Mills (Courtesy CTV)
Motivated by Christian beliefs, a Canadian mayor refused to fly a rainbow “gay pride” flag at his town hall.
The decision by Bill Mills was backed by the town council of Truro, Nova Scotia, with a 6-1 vote Friday, reported the Canadian television network CTV.
“There are writings in the book of Romans chapter one, to name a few – basically I have to go with that conviction, and I know it’s not a popular one,” said Mills, who leads a town of about 12,000 people.
Mills contended he had a right to his opinion, but a local homosexual activist group called the decision a sign of homophobia in a government that should be secular.
“It’s about having a welcoming community … and having people feel comfortable where they live,” said Bonnie Joldersma, a member of the Northern AIDS Connection Society, according to CTV.
Lynn MacKinnon of the True Gay Pride Coalition told CTV the decision “makes me wonder how I am accepted in the community and how my family is accepted in the community.”
Ray Merriam, who owns a coffee shop in town, told the network he hoped the decision to reject the flag “doesn’t give us a black eye to the rest of the world.”
Mary Baird, a customer at the coffee shop, declared: “I think they have a right to fly that flag. I think the mayor was quite wrong in his comments.”
While Truro has rejected flag, the county has agreed to fly the homosexual symbol on its administration building. Mike Smith, mayor of the county of Colchester, worried about how the Truro decision would reflect on area residents.
“It makes us look bad. These conversations were going on 15 to 20 years ago – I thought we were way past worrying about the flying of pride flags or gay rights parades,” he told CTV.
In San Diego last month, however, protesters jammed into a room at City Hall to fiercely protest a resolution, later adopted, to designate July as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month.”