May 16, 2019 12:14 am

Lethbridge one of 50 cities to raise Pride flag this week

WATCH: Lethbridge was one of 50 cities to raise the Pride flag this week to commemorate an important anniversary for the LGBTQ community in Canada. Danica Ferris has more.

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Lethbridge was one of 50 Canadian cities to recognize a major historical step in LGBTQ history this week, with a ceremonial Pride flag raising on Wednesday at city hall.

It has been 50 years this week since former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s government took the first step towards decriminalizing homosexuality with Bill C-150.

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“I think it’s pretty amazing that Lethbridge was chosen as one of 50 cities across Canada,” said Glen Herbst, the chairman of Lethbridge Pride Fest. “It was a small step in the right direction. There have been many struggles since, there have been many incidents that have brought the LGBTQ+ struggle to light.”

READ MORE: ‘A symbol of equality and support’: Lethbridge Crosswalks painted ahead of Pride Fest

“Today is a great day and it’s a great opportunity for us to be a part of something that’s going on across Canada,” said Lethbridge Pride Fest board member Elisabeth Hegerat.

“We were pretty excited to be approached, and it’s a great leadoff to some of the events we have coming up [next month] for Pride Fest.”

Lethbridge Pride Fest organized the flag raising in collaboration with “Standing by Our Colours,” a summer-long project aiming to celebrate the various steps taken since the introduction of Bill C-150.

Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips was in attendance and said she has seen big changes in the city in the years that she has called Lethbridge home.

“When I moved here about 13 years ago, there was no Pride Fest,” said Phillips. “I remember asking my friends why and they said, ‘Oh no, we could not ever possibly do that.’

“Now, there’s not only a Pride est to which 5,000 or 6,000 people come in June in Lethbridge, but there was also a Pride fest last year in Taber and in Cardston.”

“This journey towards full human rights and full equal rights started somewhere,” Phillips added. “It started with legal reforms, it started with people pushing for change, and it started with communities like Lethbridge – small, medium and large across this country – demanding change 50 years ago.”

READ MORE: Lethbridge rally held to support GSAs, oppose UCP education plan

Those in attendance Wednesday are adamant that the LGBTQ community will continue to be seen and demand more.

The 2019 Lethbridge Pride Fest happens from June 14 to 22.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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