Members and supporters of the Muskoka Pride Community joined Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith in raising the Pride Flag at the Town of Bracebridge Municipal Office on May 13 to recognize the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada, according to a news release from the town.
Standing By Our Colours is a campaign in which 50 communities across Canada held flag raisings to recognize 50 years since the passage of Bill c-150. The changes to the Criminal Code of Canada passed in Parliament on May 14, 1969, leading Pierre Elliott Trudeau to make the famous statement, “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” The flag raising was meant to remember five decades of LGBTQ rights in Canada and recognize that many individuals still do not have full equality. Transgender and queer people of colour still face daily discrimination in North America while being LGBTQ is illegal in 70 countries worldwide and punishable by death in 7 countries, according to the statement. Shawn Forth, secretary for the Muskoka Pride Community, said that the passage of Bill c-150 was an important first step in a long history of LGBTQ rights in Canada.
“LGBTQ advocacy groups continue to work to end discrimination against the trans and gender-diverse population, and queer people of colour,” Forth said. “We are excited to join 50 communities across Canada, in all provinces and territories, to raise the flag this week to recognize this important moment in LGBTQ history, and to renew our resolve to work towards equity for all members of the LGBTQ community.”
Bracebridge is proud to participate with Muskoka Pride as the Muskoka municipality in the flag raising initiative, according to the statement.
“The Muskoka Pride Community has done excellent work in ensuring that Muskoka joins communities across Canada to recognize this moment in LGBTQ history,” Smith said. “Their work towards equity for all members of the LGBTQ community is how change is generated, both now and in the future.”
To learn more about the Muskoka Pride Community, visit their website.