James AE Perkins brought a gift to Committee of the Whole Monday — a flag. It’s a large multi-coloured rainbow flag and he asked if the Town would fly the flag in recognition of the first annual Smiths Falls Pride Event. The parade is scheduled for August 18 at 5 p.m. at Centennial Park followed by a community potluck supper hosted together with the Town’s LIP program and followed by the Starfire band; brunch will be served the next morning.
The purpose of the gathering and the flag, said Perkins, is to share and tell other gays they are not alone. People have asked him why they need a parade, adding straight people don’t. Perkins reasoned that people celebrate all sorts of events — weddings, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, so a parade for LGBTQ+ people isn’t out of the question; and he said that not long ago being gay was considered a “mental disease. Today we know better but there are still many people in the closet.” The parade and the flag is to show and encourage those gay people in Smiths Falls that they aren’t alone.
All councillors and the mayor supported Perkins. The request to fly the flag will be brought to council in the near future.