Tuesday August 7, 2007

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

Deputy mayor says, “I don’t think it’s the position of the municipality to celebrate anybody’s sexual orientation”

By Elizabeth O’Brien

Truro, Nova Scotia Mayor Bill Mills TRURO, Nova Scotia, August 7, 2007 ( – The mayor of a Nova Scotia community has refused to fly the homosexual rainbow flag because it contradicts his Christian beliefs. The city council supported the decision.

Halifax’s Chronicle Herald (CH) reports that on Friday the mayor and the six city councilors of Truro, NS, voted informally 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, “There are writings in the book of Romans chapter one, to name a few-basically I have to go with that conviction, and I know it’s not a popular one.”

Mills, who has been mayor for ten years and a member of the city council for twenty, stated that the issue of homosexuality has been “sort of a lightning-rod issue.” Saying that he has been expecting the issue to surface for about 10 years, Mills stated in the CH, “I do happen to believe what’s in the Scriptures, and on that basis it puts me in kind of a hard spot to support same-sex marriage or gay pride.” He continued, “It comes down to what you believe.”

He challenged Truro residents, saying, “When you put the flag up, then what you’re doing in one sense is you’re endorsing gay pride…Is that the position the Town of Truro should be in?’

“There has to be some kind of standard,” Mills stated. He also noted that the council has agreed to a separate request to fly an AIDS-awareness flag this fall.

The council members voted the request down for a variety of reasons. Deputy mayor Charles Cox explained the reasoning behind his decisions in the Truro Daily Mail, “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.”

While many media reports blasted the mayor for so-called homophobic comments and discrimination, other homosexual activists rejoiced that his refusal brought added attention to the city’s homosexual movement.

The city of Truro, home to more than 12,000 people, refused to fly the rainbow flag, yet the county of Colchester agreed. Protestors rallied outside the county municipal building on Monday, celebrating the county’s decision and signing a petition for the city to revoke its decision.

During the rally, county mayor Mike Smith labeled the city council’s decision an “unfortunate black mark on our community” and stated that the municipal building will fly the flag at 9:00 a.m. this morning.

“We are proud to celebrate equality and diversity. We will fly the flag,” stated Smith.

Mayor Bill Mills was away on vacation and could not comment.

To email Mayor Bill Mills: [email protected]

Read the full Halifax Chronicle Herald coverage:

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