We at Family and Children's Services of the Waterloo Region (FACS Waterloo) are deeply troubled by the recent decision made by the Norwich Township Council to ban interest group flags, including Pride flags, on its property, and the refusal to recognize June as Pride month. We stand in solidarity with Oxford County Pride and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, who have been unfairly targeted by this decision.|
At FACS Waterloo, we believe in the importance of providing an inclusive, safe, and affirming environment for all children, youth, and families, including those who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we stand against any form of discrimination that undermines the dignity and rights of individuals.
The decision by the Norwich Township Council not only marginalizes the 2SLGBTQIA+ community but also sends a message that these individuals are not valued, accepted, or welcome in their community. As a service working directly with children, youth, and families we see the pain of discrimination and the devasting impact this can have on the mental health and well-being of those who may already be struggling with their identity and facing discrimination.
We urge the Norwich Township Council to reconsider their decision and work towards finding a solution that respects and acknowledges the rights and dignity of all community members, including those who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+. This may include reinstating the right to fly the Pride flag on township property, recognizing Pride month, and considering alternative ways to support and celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, such as painting a rainbow crosswalk.
As an agency, we will continue to advocate for and support the rights and well-being of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in our region. We stand with Oxford County Pride and the individuals who are fighting for their right to be recognized, respected, and celebrated.
Posted: May 9, 2023