No flags for Kelowna after pro-life controversy
The City of Kelowna has voted to abolish courtesy flags after receiving hundreds of complaints about this flag. (Kelowna Right to Life Society)
Published Tuesday, August 21, 2012 8:32AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 21, 2012 12:28PM PDT
The City of Kelowna has decided not to fly courtesy flags at city hall after a bid to raise a pro-life flag during Protect Human Life Week caused a public outcry last week.
City spokesman Tom Wilson said they received hundreds of complaints about the pro-life flag.
“Eighty-to-ninety per cent [of people] urged us not to fly the flag and a small amount of people were in support of it,” Wilson said.
The outcry came days after the Kelowna Right to Life Society, a non-profit group that strongly opposes abortion, euthanasia and stem-cell research, announced inaccurately the city had agreed to fly their flag.
The city confirmed they were only considering a bid from the group and had already rejected the group’s first flag because it contained the phrase “Celebrating life from conception until natural death.”
The group submitted another flag that said “PRO-LIFE,” with a graphic of a toddler, an adult and an elderly person.
Although Wilson said flying the flag wouldn’t mean the city endorsed the group, opposition was so strong city council voted Monday to abolish the service altogether.
The only flags allowed to fly at city hall will be the Canadian, B.C. and city flags. Wilson said the intention of the courtesy flag wasn’t to cause controversy and the issue was detracting from more serious city business.
Last week the city flew a rainbow flag in celebration of Pride Week, something Wilson said was not a factor in the decision.