British town rejects proposal to fly rainbow flag for Pride: ‘What kind of message would it send?’

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A British town has rejected calls to fly the rainbow flag, with the council there banning it from being flown.

A proposal to fly the rainbow flag in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, was defeated by the town council.

The council voted 7 to 6 not to fly the rainbow flag at next year’s Oxford Pride on 3 June 2017.

British town rejects proposal to fly rainbow flag for Pride: ‘What kind of message would it send?’

It had been proposed that the internationally recognised symbol of the LGBT+ community would be flown for next year’s Pride events.

Oxford Pride organisers have said they are “extremely disappointed” by the decision, and are currently trying to figure out why there is opposition to flying the flag.

According to comments on the Facebook page for Oxford Pride, one of the town councillors was heard saying: “What kind of message would it be sending to town”.

Commenter on the page branded the decision “disgusting” and “disgraceful”.

An Oxford Pride spokesperson said: “It’s important to show the community that their town supports them regardless of sexuality and gender, unfortunately some of Abingdon Town Council don’t agree!”

“For the Town Council to refuse this emblem of inclusion and acceptance, indicates that there are some still in control who do not wish such virtues to be part of an English town.”

A petition for the council to reconsider its decision has been started, and has almost 500 signatures.

Meanwhile in Scotland, the Queen was greeted with a rainbow flag as she arrived for the state opening of the Scottish Parliament.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan raised the rainbow flag from City Hall to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) in May.

The rainbow flag was also flown from the UK’s Houses of Parliament for the first time, ahead of Pride in London last month.

The Pride flag has been flown in the past from a number of government department, includingthe Cabinet Office and the Department for Education.