Petitioners demand Canadian mayor’s resignation after he objected to flying LGBT ‘Pride’ flag
Ontario, CANADA, June 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Petitioners are calling for the mayor of West Lincoln, Ontario, to resign after he said he was opposed to flying flags which represent “identity politics” when he was asked to fly the homosexual “Pride” flag over the local city hall.
Mayor Dave Bylsma said it was his preference that only the Canadian flag be flown over municipal buildings, saying that it “includes everybody.”
Speaking to CKTB's Matt Holmes last week, Bylsma said that he took ownership for the rainbow “Pride” flag not currently being flown over West Lincoln city hall.
The local mayor said that not actioning the request to fly the “Pride” flag had been an “oversight” amidst dealing with the coronavirus crisis, but that a special council meeting had been scheduled for this morning in order to discuss the request. That meeting has now confirmed that the “Pride” flag will be flown over West Lincoln city hall.
Bylsma said that years ago, the municipality made the decision that they “weren’t going to make any proclamations” and questioned the wisdom of flying a flag that represents “identity politics” over a municipal building. Bylsma confirmed that the chair of Pride Niagara has been invited to make a presentation to the council meeting this morning.
Linking the issue with the demands of groups such as Black Lives Matter, Bylsma said identity politics “hasn’t really been solving things.”
“Identity politics has been running rampant for decades…it hasn’t really been solving things. If you look at race relations and Black Lives Matters and the response that ‘all lives matter,’ for many people kind of strikes at the core of identity politics,” he said.
The mayor said that the West Lincoln municipality wanted to have a policy that “didn’t single out any one category of people as a subset over the other ones” and questioned “what’s wrong with just the Canadian flag flying over the municipal office? Does identity politics even belong on a municipal flag pole?”
A petition calling for Bylsma’s resignation says that he “made comments against LGBTQ, Indigenous, and Black communities” during the interview and is calling on him both to apologize and to resign.
Chris Bittle, a Liberal MP for the St. Catharines district, called Bylsma a bigot on Twitter.
Mayor of West Lincoln wonders "what are they (LGBTQ2 community) still fighting for?— Chris Bittle (@Chris_Bittle) June 11, 2020
The easy answer - bigots like you, Mr Mayor. https://t.co/4qWWrr3ZLy
Bylsma also spoke of his Christian faith during the interview.
When questioned why the LGBT “Pride” flag hadn’t simply been flown without reference to a council meeting, Bylsma replied that “democracy still is important.”
“A fulsome discussion at our municipal council chambers just makes it open and transparent for everyone,” he said.