For all who are concerned about Abbotsford city council’s decision to raise a “Pride” flag at city hall in July . . . here is my response (shown first) to Mayor Braun’s comments (shown below) appearing on the star•fm website today.

If you wish to add your comment, you can click on the link given with the article (below).
To express your views on this issue, you can also phone Mayor Braun at 604-864-5500 and/or write an email to the council (including the mayor):

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  1. Richard Peachey

    June 22, 2015
    7:34 pm

    No one is questioning that members of Fraser Valley Pride are part of the community. Mayor Braun says the Abbotsford council’s decision simply means these people “are part of the community”, but that is not in question.

    In fact, the raising of this flag would mean much more than what Mayor Braun is suggesting. The request from the Pride group to council stated explicitly that the flag-raising request was connected with “celebration.” And the extraordinary additional request to have a major crosswalk painted with Pride colours was about “pride.”

    Mayor Braun says council’s decision “doesn’t mean he agrees with every aspect of the community.” Problem: the key distinctive of Fraser Valley Pride, and of Pride groups in general, is their views on sex, and their sexual practices. That is, historically, their focus, as they talked about (first) sexual preference, then (later) sexual orientation, and (now) sexual diversity. For them, this is not some minor “aspect of the community”; this is their primary focus.

    My concern about this is that council is now sending the message to our young people that any sort of sexual behaviour is acceptable, and is worthy of “celebration” and “pride.” This is a controversial, divisive issue, as council well knows. They should not be picking sides in debates involving sexual politics. (Will they fly Trinity Western University’s flag the following week?)

    I appeal to my fellow citizens who are involved in Fraser Valley Pride to withdraw your request for a flag to be raised in your honour, and for a crosswalk to be painted in your honour. This is not a request for mere “inclusion” (i.e., equality) — what you are looking for is seen by many of us as special, preferential treatment. Please show some grace by backing off and withdrawing your divisive request.

Abbotsford Council stands by decision to fly the Pride Flag

Posted on June 22, 2015 by Mike Hellinger

pride flagAbbotsford mayor Henry Braun says we need to do a better job of reaching out and recognizing that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are part of the community, and Council’s decision to fly the pride flag at city hall next month is an expression of that.
He says that doesn’t mean he agrees with every aspect of the community, but that goes for a lot of groups.

“I meet with people on lots of different things.  I meet with people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, or have other addictions.  Because I embrace them as individuals doesn’t mean I wholeheartedly endorse everything that they do…but I don’t even do that with business people I work with.”

Braun says as mayor he generally only actively casts a vote in the event of a tie, his vote is recorded as an affirmative vote unless he says otherwise, but says if he were still on council he likely would have voted in favor of flying the flag.

Council took a bit of heat last week from one local Christian group, concerned about the message this support sends.