Time to drop the ‘neutrality’ act

Try as they might to remain committed to their talking points about a petition seeking “neutral” public spaces, some organizers and supporters of a controversial Minto petition are starting to reveal their true motivations.

As noted in this very space two weeks ago, we’ve seen this facade play out many times.

Every June, I have to deal with numerous “concerned citizens” who just can’t handle the sight of a rainbow flag or banner – or any other Pride display, for that matter – and then react with over-the-top feigned indignation when their obvious intolerance is pointed out by others.

It appears the newest chapter in this decades-old playbook is victimhood – and it was on full display at the Minto council meeting on May 21.

The main organizer of the petition, which has been signed by 900 residents (but not really 900 – wink, wink), had the audacity to tell Minto council he felt “attacked” by two people who used “hate speech” while speaking out against the petition during a previous public question period.

How pathetic. As most people can plainly see, the only real victims in this entire scenario are members of the local 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

On cue, proponents of this petition will surely regurgitate their same old lines about just wanting public spaces to be neutral, stressing this has nothing to do with bigotry and hatred towards anyone slightly different than themselves.

But that charade was destroyed in a matter of minutes when some of them were given the chance to speak at the Minto council meeting last week.

“Government at any level should not be involved in personal choice matters of its electorate,” the main organizer stated. “You are forcing your beliefs and your values … onto everyone.”

Of course, members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community aren’t “choosing” anything – this is who they are. And one would hope the “values” and “beliefs” represented by Pride flags, namely diversity and inclusion, should not have to be “forced” upon anyone.

Another speaker actually asked why the town would “display sexual messages to the general public,” suggesting everyone’s “sexual preferences” should “stay in the privacy of our own home and not be displayed on our main street and on our lamp posts.”

It’s hard to know where to begin with such asinine comments, but for starters, there is nothing sexual about the Pride flag and, again, we’re not talking simply about “preferences.”

More importantly, this offensive rant reduces people – an entire community, in fact – to a few lewd acts in a feeble attempt to disparage them.

Here are a few more samples from the progressive minds who spoke at the May 21 meeting:

  • “an alternative lifestyle whether we agree with it or not, is not worthy of recognition”;
  • one woman encouraged council to read her favourite anti-LGBTQ propaganda to learn more about “the health hazards of homosexuality”; and
  • another woman issued a not-so-subtle threat, telling council, “With what’s happened here, and been going on the last two weeks, I really strongly suggest that that not go up,” presumably referring to Pride flags for June.

Did these people arrive at the council meeting in a time machine from the 1950s?

We agree, Minto likely needs an improved policy for banners and displays in pubic spaces (apparently that’s coming), but it’s long past time petition supporters dropped the “it’s all about neutrality” act.

Everyone else can see – and their own words made it painfully clear – what’s really going on here.