The folks with Truro Pride in Nova Scotia have filed a human rights complaint over the Town of Truro's refusal to fly the rainbow flag.
Charles Thompson, with Truro Pride, said the discrimination complaint centres on the fact the town council has agreed to fly flags for other community organizations and groups.
Earlier this month, Truro mayor Bill Mills refused to fly the gay pride flag at city hall for this month's local celebrations, saying doing so would promote a lifestyle that conflicts with his religious views - and most of the town's council backed him.
"There are writings in the book of Romans chapter one, to name a few - basically I have to go with that conviction, and I know it's not a popular one," Mayor Mills told the press.
Congratulations to the members of Truro Pride for standing up for their rights.
I wrote about this issue earlier this month. Public officials who have used their religion to discriminate against LGBT citizens in the past have found they were in the wrong.
On the issue of homosexuality, religious extremists have been in the wrong for centuries. The tenets in mainstream religions against homosexuality are some of the worst examples of abuses of religious power in history (along with the mistreatment of women and many other groups who have suffered under the abuses of religious authority.)
Canada is a secular country where the division between church and state is clear and important. History has taught us of the dangers of mixing religion with politics.
First and foremost, religion is a personal matter. Everyone is free to have their own private, personal beliefs. We are a pluralistic society.
Faith should be private. It should inform individuals on how best to live their own lives and how to treat those around them (hopefully with respect and dignity).
But when faith inspires the believer to impose discrimination and suffering on other people who don't share that faith, as is being done in this instance, that's when religion has gone too far.
Religious freedom is not about using one's position of civic power to impose one's moral beliefs on the entire community. Religious freedom is about allowing every person to believe what they believe. Religious freedom means no one religion is superior to any other faith or belief system.
For too long, so-called religious people have used their faith to deny the basic humanity of LGBT individuals.
There are some people who believe public officials have no obligation to respect the rights of all the citizens they serve, just those who hold similar religious beliefs.
This is nonsense. Public officials must represent all people. I hope this human rights complaint is successful.