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Langley conservative activist accused City council of human rights violations over flags

Kari Simpson will complain to the B.C. Human Rights tribunal, she said.
Politicians and local members of the LGBTQ community gathered in July to raise the rainbow pride flag in Langley City for the first time (Black Press files)

A conservative Langley activist says she has filed a human rights complaint against Langley City for refusing to fly a “Canadian Christian flag” at City hall.

Kari Simpson of CultureGuard said she has launched a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal against Langley City’s mayor and council generally, and Councillor Nathan Pachal specifically.

Simpson claims discrimination after she was refused the right to fly her flag, while the LGBTQ pride flag was flown this year. She said she is seeking public apologies and $15,000 in damages.

In 2016, Pachal proposed flying the rainbow flag for one week a year, around Pride Week.

Flags with a religious, political, or commercial purpose are not allowed to fly at City hall. Typical flags flown in Langley include flags for organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, or for arthritis month.

This year was the first time the rainbow pride flag was flown, and it was raised with a crowd that included a number of families, City councillors, and other local dignitaries present.

Before the flag was raised, Simpson sent a letter to Langley City complaining and calling the flag a “divisive political symbol.”

“It is oppressive and used to direct hatred and contempt against anyone who dares to challenge the LGBTQ2++ narrative,” she wrote to the City. “Flags, as we all know, are a declaration of victory, power over a staked claim.”

In her Tuesday press release about her human rights challenge Simpson claimed the pride flag represents “the triumph of… sex activists, over the majority [of the] population, and especially over Christian parents.”

Following the flying of the pride flag in the City, Simpson asked that she be allowed to fly a “Canadian Christian flag” for an event she called the National Day of Blessings, on Oct. 1.

The City denied her request. Nevertheless, On Oct. 1 Simpson and a group of people gathered outside City hall and the group held its own flag raising on a small wooden pole. Simpson also said at the time that she had retained lawyers and would be taking action.

Simpson accused Pachal of making “many hurtful comments in the media against her,” claiming they were “highly discriminatory, hurtful, toxic, and offensive.”

Previously, Pachal has said he disagreed with Simpson, and told Black Press the rainbow flag does not favour one group over another.

“The rainbow flag is a general statement of inclusion and diversity and acceptance of all people,” he said.

Neither Pachal nor City officials could comment on the human rights challenge Tuesday, as they had not received any official documents about the case.

The Canadian Christian flags used by CultureGuard are also apparently sold by the group, according to a Facebook post which said the proceeds go towards CultureGuard youth programs.

The pride flag flew over Langley City for a week. (Black Pres files)

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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