Rainbow Flag to be Raised at Montreal's City Hall During Winter Games
by TarikA on February 9, 2014 - 5:59pm
On Thursday, it was announced that, just like in other Canadian cities, the LGBT ‘rainbow’ flag would be raised above Montreal’s city hall. In an article published on February 6 by Anne Sutherland of the Gazette, titled “Rainbow flag will fly over city hall during Olympics,” it was stated that the mayor of Montreal confirmed Thursday morning that the city would support the ongoing protest against Russia’s ill treatment of its LGBT citizens. This gesture, according to Coderre, is meant to highlight the “brotherhood and solidarity of Montrealers.”
The stance that the city of Montreal and other Canadian cities, such as Vancouver, are taking on the gay rights issue in Russia is commendable, considering that it is both a promotion of LGBT rights at home but also a show of solidarity and support for a situation that is far removed from our own backyard. In June of last year, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, signed a law that effectively placed a ban on gay advocacy, which has fuelled certain extremist groups to commit violent reprisals against LGBT activists in Russia.
By displaying the ‘rainbow’ flag, the city of Montreal has done the job of promoting equality, not only in society itself, but also within the realm of Olympic sport. As Montreal did of course host a Summer Olympiad in 1976, the message that can be interpreted from raising the flag is that there is no room for discrimination in sport. That the actions of the Russian government contradict the values upheld by the Olympic committee that they so desperately tried to woo in acquiring the Sochi games.
The city of Montreal has also helped bring out the voice of the local gay rights activist group, the Conseil Québécois- LGBT. Though gay rights are upheld here in Québec, it is important to support and nurture the voice of local gay rights groups, as they not only stand for the rights of local LGBTs, but also for those unfortunate enough to be persecuted and mistreated elsewhere. Solidarity amongst peoples can be a very strong and potent tool and it is through that that we may contribute towards making equality perpetuate throughout the world.