Human rights complaint over city’s Pride flag tossed out

Kari Simpson’s attempt to block Langley City’s flag raising has failed

Conservative and anti-SOGI Langley activist Kari Simpson’s human rights complaint against Langley City over its Pride Flag events has been dismissed by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Simpson has been complaining about Langley City’s decision to raise a rainbow flag since the City first began the practice in 2018, to mark Pride Week.

She may be best known locally for campaigning against the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI 123) resources which are used in B.C. schools.

The Human Rights Tribunal’s April 7 decision notes that in her initial letter to Langley City asking that the rainbow flag not be flown, she called it a symbol of a campaign that “panders to sex activism, bully tactics, child abuse and special rights for certain groups.”

Simpson also alleged that raising the rainbow flag has led to her being “mocked, threatened,” and subjected to a “vicious campaign” by the City that allegedly endangered her life.

When she launched her complaint to the tribunal, Simpson explicitly compared the rainbow flag to the Nazi flag.

The Nazis persecuted, imprisoned, and murdered homosexuals, imprisoning thousands in concentration camps during the Second World War.

The City rejected Simpson’s complaint about the Pride flag, and in August 2018 she asked to fly what she called the “Canadian Christian Flag” on what she termed the “National Day of Blessing.”

Simpson identified herself as the “head organizer for the Langley Christian Flag committee and the organizer for the National Day of Blessings” when she launched her complaint to the tribunal.

“According to publicly available information filed by the City, the City says that Ms. Simpson appears to be the creator of the ‘National Day of Blessings’ and the ‘Canadian Christian flag’ and Oct. 1, 2018 appears to be the first time that Ms. Simpson celebrated this day and flag,” the tribunal’s judgment said. “Ms. Simpson does not dispute this.”

She did hold a rally outside City hall that October at which the flag was displayed, but it was not raised on a City flagpole.

The tribunal’s decision dismisses Simpson’s complaint because it has no reasonable prospect of succeeding.

READ MORE: Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

There was no evidence of any danger to her life, or of how the City might have incited “contempt and hatred for Christians” as she claimed. She does not seem to have lacked access to any service, the ruling noted.

The ruling went on to point out the long history of discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

“Pride celebrations help to counteract the historical discrimination committed against LGBTQ+ communities and help to bring those communities from a position of disadvantage to a more equal standing with heterosexual and cisgendered individuals who have historically enjoyed societal acceptance,” the ruling said. “The act of flying the Rainbow Flag also serves a similar purpose.”

The City filed minutes of its discussions about the rainbow flag that noted its purpose was to recognize Langley’s diverse and inclusive community.

As far as not flying the ‘Canadian Christian flag,’ the ruling noted she was still free to celebrate her ‘National Day of Blessings’ on public City property without any hindrance.

Simpson’s entire complaint was dismissed.

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