Rainbow flag shows support for equal rights

Times-Herald Editorial Staff
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A pride flag flies on the flagpole alongside the Canadian flag atop Moose Jaw city hall on Feb. 12, 2014. The flag was raised following a unanimous vote by city council on the evening of Feb. 10, 2014. It will remain there until the end of the Winter Olympics.

Moose Jaw should be proud to have the rainbow flag fly at city hall.

We believe in equality for everyone. We all deserve equal freedoms, equal opportunities and equal rights. It doesn’t matter who we are, what ethnicity we come from, what our sexual orientation is, how old we are or what gender we are. We are all human. That’s why they are called human rights.

Unfortunately, human rights aren’t a basic right in every part of this world. Even the ones that are basic rights today had to be fought for years ago. Once, black people didn’t have the rights everyone else had. Once, women weren’t allowed to vote and weren’t considered ‘people’ by law.

Those are only a few examples. There are countless others. We look at places where women are considered inferior to men and shake our heads.

We look at places like Egypt where, on the first anniversary of the election of President Mohamed Morsi on June 30, 2013, during the four days of Egyptian protests demanding the dictator’s resignation, at least 91 women were attacked and sexually assaulted by mobs. We frown at that.

We look at places like Burma where more than 125,000 Rohingya Muslims, the religious minority, were forced to move and tens of thousands of stateless Muslims were denied humanitarian aid. In October, 28 children were hacked to death for being part of that minority.

And, with the Sochi Olympics taking place, we look at places like Russia where the government has taken a stance with anti-gay laws passed in June last year. The laws criminalize any “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors.”

There has been widespread international protest on President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government’s position. Recently, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has spoken out to encourage athletes in Sochi to speak out and stand up against any homophobic prejudice.

On Monday, Moose Jaw city council approved flying the rainbow flag over city hall for the duration of the Winter Olympics to show support for equality, including anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

It’s a symbol of a movement, demonstrating that we believe in equality and human rights for everyone. Moose Jaw joins other cities in Canada such as: Regina, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, St. John’s, Quebec City, Calgary and Edmonton.

We are lucky to live in Canada where so many cities have shown their support for equality. We are lucky to live in Moose Jaw where a flag for equality flies above city hall.

Equality is and should be a right for everyone everywhere. Period.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: United Nations, Moose Jaw city council

Geographic location: Egypt, Burma, Moose Jaw Canada Russia Sochi Ottawa Toronto Vancouver Quebec City Calgary Edmonton

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