An organization vehemently opposed to SOGI 123 in public schools is warning the Surrey RCMP that it will face a “huge public protest” if it flies a “political” LGBTQ+ rainbow Pride flag at its Newton detachment building on Monday morning.
Kari Simpson, director of CultureGuard, sent a letter to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan and Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, officer in charge of the Surrey RCMP, urging “immediate reconsideration” of the planned flag-hoisting.
“The pride flag represents a sex activist political movement that is hostile to free speech, to parental rights, and to freedom of assembly,” she wrote to the RCMP brass, “and is currently targeting children with an extremist transgender and sexual orientation agenda through the public education system.”
Simpson claims raising this flag runs contrary to the RCMP’s Code of Conduct prescribing that its members act with “impartiality.”
“The RCMP has a duty to remain neutral,” Simpson wrote in her letter.
“If the event proceeds, I will organize a protest,” she wrote to the police. “I will also publish information concerning one of the invited groups that will not bode well for the RCMP.”
Sergeant Chad Greig, of the Surrey RCMP, confirmed the event.
“We are doing a flag-raising Monday at 10 o’clock,” he told the Now-Leader, “at the front entrance of the main detachment. Just a very small, informal ceremony where we will present the Pride flag.”
“As Canada’s national police service, it is important that the RCMP lead by example in promoting diversity and inclusion,” Greig said. “The Pride flag represents equality and inclusion and displaying of the flag is a reflection, acknowledgement and support for a community within a larger community.”
Greig said that during June the RCMP “celebrates Pride Month and shows support for LGBTQ+ rights, culture and communities.
“All RCMP employees are encouraged to participate in local events, parades, festivals and other commemorative activities being held to mark the occasion,” he said. “We are aware of a group’s intent to protest the Surrey RCMP’s Pride event in Monday and respect their right to a lawful democratic protest.”
Meantime, the City of Surrey rejected a request from Martin Rooney, president of the Surrey Pride Society, to fly the Pride flag at city hall to commemorate the 5oth anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada. “If you are willing and able to participate, your organization will receive a $750 honorarium,” he wrote. “This can be used to purchase a flag (if necessary) or to cover costs of the ceremony/gathering and whatever else you might decide to do with it.”
Surrey’s General Manager Laurie Cavan responded, in a letter, that based on the city’s “current flag policy and practice,” it “will not participate in this opportunity as described in your correspondence. We look forward to working with you on the various Pride initiatives that we have held in the past and have planned for 2019.”
Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum is expected to proclaim June 24 to July 1 “LGBTQ+ Pride Week” at Monday night’s city council meeting.