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Refusal to raise flag leads to transfer


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Refusal to raise flag leads to transfer

Last Updated: Jul 29 2005 03:54 PM NDT

The City of St. John's has transferred a commissionaire out of city hall for his refusal to raise a flag celebrating Gay Pride week.

Mayor Andy Wells raised the flag himself on Monday after the commissionaire whose job it was to raise it, refused to do it.

Wells says that commissionaire has since been transferred out of city hall.

"We can't tolerate that kind of behaviour at city hall. I mean, we're not, you know, I mean it's not acceptable," he says.

The commissionaire was not available for an interview. It is known that he is a retired veteran who felt that gay pride went against his beliefs.

The director of building and property management with the city, David Blackmore, says the city needs staff who will do every part of the job.

"We have a certain requirement for a level of service to be provided. If an employee cannot or is not prepared to provide that service then of course we would deal with his company," he says.

People in the St. John's gay community have applauded the swift action from city hall.

Gerry Rogers, the woman who opened the Gay Pride ceremony, says having the commissionaire transferred shows that discrimination will not be tolerated in public places like city hall.

"That becomes a really strong public statement, again, that homophobia is not okay and intolerance is not okay," she says.

The flag will fly outside of city hall until Sunday.

Copyright © 2005 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - All Rights Reserved


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