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Rainbow flag flies at half-mast

Pride week officially begins

A small crowd gathered in front of Ottawa City Hall for Pride’s official flag-raising ceremony. Among the speakers were Capital Pride chair Doug Saunders-Riggins, deputy mayor Steve Desroches, Liberal MP Yasir Naqvi and grand marshal for 2011 Pride, Zelda Marshall.

Naqvi spoke about the sadness of Jack Layton’s death but drew attention to Layton’s philosophy of inclusiveness for all.

“I think that’s what Pride stands for, and that’s what Capital Pride has been so successful in promoting for the last 26 years in our great city of Ottawa, that no matter who you are, who your partner is, no matter what colour, what creed, what gender orientation or identity, we are all equal,” he said.

Desroches presented the mayor’s Pride proclamation to Saunders-Riggins before raising the flag to half-mast.

The Capital Pride Committee sent out an earlier press release expressing their sympathy at the passing of the NDP leader.

“The Capital Pride Committee would like to extend our deepest condolences to Mr Layton’s family, friends and loved ones. We are saddened by this incredible loss – Mr Layton has been an outstanding spokesperson for GLBT rights in Canada and we are saddened to hear about the news of his passing,” said Saunders-Riggins.