April 24th, 2024

Alberta town bans Pride flags, rainbow crosswalks after plebiscite

By The Canadian Press on February 23, 2024.

A town north of Edmonton has voted in favour of a bylaw that bans Pride flags and rainbow crosswalks from being displayed on municipal property. A person holds a Pride flag during the Zurich Pride parade in Zurich, Switzerland, Saturday, June 17, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Michael Buholzer/Keystone via AP

WESTLOCK, Alta. – A town north of Edmonton has voted in favour of a bylaw that bans Pride flags and rainbow crosswalks on municipal property.

A slim majority of Westlock residents who took part in a plebiscite Thursday voted in favour of the town only flying government flags and painting crosswalks in a white striped pattern.

Those in favour won by 24 votes, as 49 per cent voted against the ban.

Westlock Mayor Jon Kramer says councillors didn’t support the move, as they felt it was against their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Kramer says the town of 4,800 will continue to find ways to embrace marginalized groups, including those in the LGBTQ community.

Last year, a group brought a petition to council demanding neutrality in public spaces after a local gay-straight alliance painted the town’s first Pride crosswalk.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2023.

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