By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

PICTOU, N.S., February 6, 2008 ( – Pictou County Council voted 7 to 6 on Monday to restrict which flags can be flown from municipal flagpoles. The national, provincial, county and First Nations flags will be allowed, according to the new policy.

Warden Allister MacDonald said that without measures to restrict flags, council could be asked to raise flags for groups which “may not be acceptable.”

“A hate group could come and ask for us to raise a flag, and we would be discriminating against that particular group (by not raising the flag),” he said in a CTV Atlantic report. “They could take us to a human rights court. This way we’re trying to be proactive so that there would be no controversy down the road.”

What was presented by the council as an uncomplicated and honest policy aimed at avoiding preferential treatment, promotion or, on the other hand, denial, of any particular group, was challenged by Jane Morgan, the only member of the gay and lesbian community to speak at the Pictou council meeting, who called the decision “homophobic.”

“I am entirely, 100 per cent disappointed and unimpressed with this council,” she said.

A similar policy was adopted last year by the town council in Truro, N.S., where the councilors voted 6 to 1 against flying the trademark rainbow flag of the homosexual movement at the town hall. Mayor Bill Mills refused the proposal made by gay activists, stating it contradicted his Christian beliefs.

Truro deputy mayor Charles Cox also elaborated, “I don’t think it’s the position of the municipality to celebrate anybody’s sexual orientation. That’s just the way it is, we don’t have heterosexual week, do we? I think that is a private matter and I don’t think the state has any function in that area.”

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Nova Scotia Mayor Refuses to Fly Gay Flag Because of Christian Beliefs