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New Brunswick town’s mayor defends policy that prohibits Pride banners on lampposts

A New Brunswick mayor is defending her town’s new policy that will prohibit Pride banners to be displayed on lampposts in the community.

During a Woodstock, N.B., council meeting Tuesday, Mayor Trina Jones said the past practice of hanging Pride banners in the town will end under a policy passed in November that says lamppost banners must promote Woodstock-area tourism or heritage.

The head of a local non-profit LGBTQ+ organization says the decision sends a harmful message to queer residents and the wider community.

Amanda Lightbody, president of The Rainbow Crosswalk group, says the town’s move to stop flying rainbow-coloured Pride flags is already being lauded in homophobic hate groups online.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, Jones insisted the policy has nothing to do with the Pride flag.

She says the town is “not defined” by its previous practice of displaying the flag on lampposts for six weeks out of the year.

“I think it’s important for us all to take a step back and try and determine why a flag that is meant to unify appears to be having the opposite effect and is creating division in multiple ways,” Jones said. She could not be reached for an interview Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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