White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin speaks at a pride flag raising ceremony Monday.

White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin speaks at a pride flag raising ceremony Monday.

Rainbow flag flies in White Rock

City recognizes pride week at flag-raising ceremony July 25

Mayor Wayne Baldwin welcomed the symbol of the pride movement Monday, when a small crowd watched as the rainbow flag was raised over White Rock City Hall.

“We’ve been doing this for two years now and we’re perhaps a little behind the curve in that respect, but we are doing it,” Baldwin told a small crowd gathered on the city hall lawn. “It’s something that demonstrates the inclusiveness of our community, something we’re very proud of.”

An idea originating with the White Rock Business Improvement Association, the flag-raising ceremony coincides with Vancouver Pride Week and its Sunday parade in downtown Vancouver.

The flag is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride and the struggle for equality. Baldwin said he’s looking forward to the day when raising the flag is no longer considered necessary.

“Until we get to that stage, we’ll be doing this. We will be reminding people that we are inclusive and that this is something that’s very important to us.”

Rev. Neil Gray of the Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity in White Rock said Monday same-sex couples will soon be allowed to marry in his church. The Anglican Church of Canada recently voted to change church law to allow same-sex unions.

“Diversity is something to be honoured and treasured and celebrated and upheld,” he said. “No life is expendable or less important than anybody else’s.”

White Rock BIA president Ernie Klassen thanked White Rock’s residents and civic politicians for recognizing the symbol.

“We are proud to live in a society and community we can call home,” Klassen said.

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