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Newfoundland and Labrador Communities To Raise Gay Pride Flags During Olympics


St. John's, the capital of the Newfoundland and Labrador province in Canada, is leading the way in an effort to show support for LGBT Russians and athletes during the Sochi Olympics beginning on Friday. At the behest of Josh Eddy, the publisher of LGBT publication The Outpost, St. John's mayor Dennis O'Keefe and the town council unanimously voted to fly a rainbow pride flag over the city hall. Now Eddy's efforts are catching fire in other towns around the province.

CBC News reports:

"Flying the rainbow flag during the Olympics is really a sign of support for people in other countries, in this case in particular in Russia, the people who have been denied their liberties as individuals, and people who are being persecuted because of their sexual orientation," O'Keefe said.

"This is something we're very proud to be a part of, because it reinforces our position that all people in society have a right to realize their potential."

The flag is being raised this Friday, February 7th, the day of the Olympics' opening ceremonies. Smaller flags are also being sold at local store the Travel Bug (above image) for fifty-percent off when customers assure owner Peg Norman that they will display them throughout the games.

"The Olympics hold themselves up as this model of perfection, but at the same time they're quite willing, obviously, to stomp on basic human rights of the gay and lesbian community around the world, and they seriously need to look at their role," [Norman] said.

"It's unfortunate for the athletes that have worked so hard to get to this level, but you also can't ignore the fact that there are basic human rights that we are talking about."

According to Eddy, town councils in Gander, Corner Brook, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Mount Pearl have also shown interest in flying rainbow flags. Eddy, overwhelmed by the support, also wanted to assure people that the protest has little to do with the Olympics themselves, but rather the spotlight placed on Russia and its anti-gay propaganda laws. His is not a message of opposition, but of solidarity. 

"It's not against Olympics. It's not against Russians. It's something in support of people who are going through struggles that we went through for years."

Photo via CBC News.

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  1. That's wonderful. But it just occurred to me how wonderful and symbolic if during the opening ceremonies and/or the closing ceremonies that the delegations of nations walking through the Olympic forum are brave and compassionate enough to wave rainbow pride flags along with their own national flag.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Feb 6, 2014 9:15:39 PM

  2. Montreal too:

    There will be a rainbow flag flying at City Hall and Montreal's Stade will be lit up in rainbow colors tomorrow night.

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 6, 2014 9:31:31 PM

  3. This is wonderful. Wow. Thanks to everyone who made and are making this happen. Makes me feel good.

    Posted by: Lavish | Feb 6, 2014 9:40:09 PM

  4. Thanks Ernie for sharing that; it's great news.

    I'm just so proud of Canada right now; thank you Canada!

    Posted by: Lavish | Feb 6, 2014 9:45:46 PM

  5. C'mon Raleigh, Dallas, Tupelo, Tulsa…let's see rainbow flags proudly waving over city halls to show your support for basic human rights!! Why does it have to be Canada that always takes leadership? Could it be because they have federal same-sex marriage and tough hate speech and anti-discrimination laws that has made their society a little bit more inclusive?

    Posted by: shanestud | Feb 6, 2014 10:34:03 PM

  6. Also Vancouver, Whistler BC and Ottawa.

    Posted by: Craig S | Feb 6, 2014 10:37:27 PM

  7. I wonder if they fly them at other Newfoundland cities like Dildo and Come-by-Chance?

    Posted by: Chris | Feb 7, 2014 12:11:40 AM

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