Defying the stereotypes of Alberta as a conservative backwater, Rainbow Pride Flag are flying outside of city halls in Edmonton, Calgary and St. Albert and the Alberta Legislature today in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Russia. The a small but powerful gesture is a sign of support for a community that has become the target of persecution by harsh laws passed by Vladimir Putin‘s government.
The flags will fly for the duration of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games (and until the end of the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games at the Legislature).
A social media campaign to convince the City of Edmonton to raise the flag was started yesterday by Edmontonian Riyaz Sharan. Once Edmonton agreed to raise the flag, the other Alberta cities and the province followed their lead.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson‘s office released this statement today:
The City of Edmonton raised the rainbow flag today in support ofLGBTQ communities worldwide. The City of Edmonton took this action in solidarity with other Canadian cities such as Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and St. John’s. The flag will fly on the community pole on the southwest side of the plaza in front of City Hall for the duration of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.