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Nova Scotia NDP hold Pride flag raising ceremony at Province House

By Joe Thomson May 17, 2023 | 2:48 PM

The Nova Scotia NDP hosted a Pride flag raising ceremony at Province House today. It marked the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia.

Before the flag raising, members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community shared their stories of hate and being discriminated against. Bay View High School student, Rayne Frost, was one of them.

Last month, a Pride flag was ripped from the walls inside of the school’s cafeteria and brought outside were a group of three teenagers burned it. RCMP have since arrested the three suspects and they have been charged with mischief, which an RCMP spokesperson said was motivated by hate.

Frost said that the incident made them, and their classmates, feel scared, angry, and hurt.

“To witness an event like that was really hard for a lot of kids,” said Frost.

Queer lawyer Sarah Litke displays a Pride flag that was torn apart on her property. Bay View High Student Rayne Frost (middle) looks on.

Nova Scotia NDP leader Claudia Chender said that hearing the stories of the community members was powerful.

“Our job as leaders is to turn those experiences into law and policy, and an orientation that protects everyone,” said Chender. “I think, in particular, with the rise of hate related crimes that we’re seeing… we want to make sure that those stories are being heard loud and clear, and that we can commit together, all parties, to making sure that we stem that tide.”

Currently, Halifax regional Police are investigating what they say is another hate motivated crime. They say that another Pride flag was ripped down from where it was displayed on a resident’s property by a group of youths.

MLA for Halifax Citadel – Sable Island and NDP spokesperson for 2SLGBTQ+ Affairs, Lisa Lachance, said that while much progress has been made towards the acceptance of queer communities, this recent string of incidents reminds them of the discrimination that people still face in Nova Scotia to this day.

“We’ve had too many examples across Nova Scotia, of incidents of transphobia, homophobia and other issues facing our community,” said Lachance. “We need leaders in our province to make it extremely clear so that there is no room for interpretation of their commitment against hate and intolerance.”

Lachance mentioned that earlier this year during legislature they called on Premier Tim Houston to unequivocally condemn transphobia and hate but said that he did not rise to do so. Houston did publish a tweet today recognizing the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia. Lachance said during today’s meeting that people need to see more than just a tweet.

In a press release, Lachance said that the government should immediately announce that MSI will cover gender-affirming care as set out in the World Professional Association for Transgender Health standards of care, ensure that schools have the resources needed to act and create truly safe schools, and create a Minister of 2SLGBTQI+ issues and an Action Plan for Nova Scotia.


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