TABER, AB — The Town of Taber has denied a request for a Pride Flag to be flown in Taber this June.
During the town’s meeting on January 22, council passed a motion denying the Taber Equality Alliance’s request to fly the Pride Flag on the community flagpole in the park, and are also considering amendments to its flagpole policy to remove the flagpole in Confederation Park as the designated community flagpole.
The motion for that amendment passed and will be brought forward at a future meeting.
In a statement, the Town of Taber says all town-owned flagpoles will only fly the Canada, Alberta or Town of Taber flags, except in the instances of visiting dignitaries. No other requests to fly any other flags will be considered in the future.
However, the Town said it will not prevent flags from being flown in Confederation Park should a group wish to fly them on temporary flagpoles or by other means during their event when they have rented the Cornfest stage and/or the Gazebo.
“The Town of Taber encourages any group to fly their respective flags in whatever way they see fit during their events as long as it is done with respect for Town property,” said Mayor Andrew Prokop. "We look forward to the Taber Pride Celebration occurring in June, and wish the Taber Equality Alliance every success for their event.”
Last year, one Pride Flag raised by the Taber Equality Alliance was stolen, while a second flag was burned. A third flag was raised without incident.
According to the Jab. 22 council agenda, “Following the double vandalism of the Pride Flag in 2017, considerations as to the safety and security of property and people must be taken into consideration."
The Taber Equality Alliance posted a statement to its Facebook page saying the following:
"Though we are saddened by this decision, we shall stay strong and resilient in the face of adversity and remember what it is we are trying to achieve.
Every day we stand tall to show others the discrimination that still exists in our community; we stand against hate and ignorance in all its forms.
We recognize that there are different points of view and we invite town council and the citizens of Taber to stand with us for a safe and inclusive community for all."
Chair of the Lethbridge PrideFest Society, Devon Hargreaves, says if needed, they will hold the pride flag during Taber Celebrations.
"If this decision doesn't get reversed, The Lethbridge Pride Fest Board would be willing to stand there with the flag all day and support them, so the board can focus on their event."
The Taber Equality Alliance Society is asking members of the community and others to send letters of support to the group, so they can take them back to town council.
(Lara Fominoff - @LaraFominoff on Twitter)
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