BRITISH COLUMBIA
06/24/2014 03:46 EDT | Updated 06/25/2014 12:59 EDT

Pride Flag Won't Fly At Surrey City Hall

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USA, California, San Francisco, rainbow flag (gay pride flag)

Surrey City Council has voted against flying the Gay Pride flag at city hall.

The city's current flag policy only allows for three to be displayed: those of Canada, B.C., and Surrey, CBC News reports. Councillors reviewed the policy after Surrey Pride Festival organizer Martin Rooney asked them to fly the rainbow flag, but ultimately voted against the idea on Monday night.

We were shocked," Rooney told CKNW. "It’s 2014. To have set new policy that totally excludes a very … universally recognized symbol of diversity and inclusivity stuns me — that they would go out of their way to ensure that that could not fly.”

The Pride flag has not been flown in "any official capacity in Surrey in 15 years of celebrating pride," Rooney told the Now newspaper prior to city council's decision. He added that the flag is flown in many other B.C. municipalities.

But Surrey officials say city hall's three stationary flags represent and embrace diversity, CBC says. They have offered to create a Surrey Pride exhibition, which can include a flag, inside city hall.

“The request to fly the flag was exercised in that yes, do whatever you like within city hall, we’d love it, we’d welcome it, but we don’t have another flag pole at the moment," City Councillor Linda Hepner told CKNW.

The Surrey Pride Festival kicks off on Saturday.

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