Councillors call for “Christian flag” to be taken down at City Hall

Published on March 23, 2016
Sheilagh O'leary

Some St. John’s councillors are calling for the city to take down the so-called “Christian flag.”

Coun. Sheilagh O’Leary says she sent an email to the mayor and the rest of council on Tuesday.

“I was unaware of the impact, certainly, of this flag-raising,” O’Leary told the Telegram on Wednesday morning. “Once it became a public issue, we were getting emails from people in regards to this particular church in itself and some of their philosophies and such. It was a great concern for me, because I certainly in believe in equal rights and respect and acceptance of all, and I think we need to reflect that, certainly, as a city.”

O’Leary said she’s received emails from some councillors agreeing that the flag should be taken down, but hasn’t heard from the mayor yet. The raising of the flag — which is not recognized as officially representing Christianity — at Mount Pearl and St. John’s city halls Monday and at Confederation Building on Tuesday was organized by St. Stephen the Martyr church. The church’s website links to condemnations of homosexuality as well as discredited therapeutic methods to “cure” it.

O’Leary has yet to hear from the mayor, but Coun. Danny Breen and Coun. Dave Lane have publicly stated the flag should be taken down. St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe and Mount Pearl Mayor Randy Simms have not returned the Telegram’s calls requesting comment.

Twitter: @DanMacEachern