Airdrie City councillors did not mince words in their decision to reject a request from a straight pride group to fly its flag at city hall.
Coun. Tina Petrow said exactly what we in the newsroom were thinking when we saw this item on the meeting agenda – “every day of my life is a straight pride day.”
Though representatives from the group did not present at the meeting, we spoke with its representative, Larry Boland, who argued this was a move to “endorse” and “promote” the straight lifestyle, and not the act of hate it appears to be.
While Boland admitted the LGBTQ2S+ community has been persecuted in the past, he couldn’t – or was unwilling to – see why Pride is important. He told us, “[Pride] doesn’t change" anything that has happened to members of this community. No, it certainly doesn’t, and that’s the point. If we are to move forward and embrace people as they are – straight, gay, Muslim, Christian, black, white or otherwise – we must acknowledge the injustices of the past to ensure they don’t happen in the future.
Claims the Pride festival excluded the straight community are unfounded and ridiculous. As Coun. Al Jones put it, the only ones excluded were those who chose to exclude themselves.
Furthermore, the group's claim that the straight majority is oppressed is laughable. Straight men, in particular, are endowed with privilege from the moment of birth until the day they die. Add in Caucasian and you’ve got the trifecta of opportunity.
While it is certainly in this group’s right to celebrate their sexual identity, it is not in the City’s best interest to give credibility to an initiative that is, as Petrow said, “working solely to exclude one section of our population.”