Small Newfoundland town that rejected rainbow crosswalk to hold Pride Week

Small Newfoundland town that rejected rainbow crosswalk to hold Pride Week

SPRINGDALE, N.L. — A Newfoundland town that received national attention when it refused to permit a rainbow crosswalk has now agreed to hold a Pride Week.

The town of Springdale came under scrutiny last month after refusing to allow the colourful crosswalk near Indian River High School.

The town council rejected the students' bid, with Mayor Dave Edison saying he feared it would create division rather than promote inclusion of the LGBTQ citizens within the community.

Now the council and the school's Gender Sexuality Alliance have announced they'll celebrate Pride Week from June 4 to 8.

A joint statement released Wednesday says the purpose of the week is to create a safe and inclusive community that supports LGBTQ persons, their friends, families and allies and showcase that support through activities and events.

The week is to begin with the signing of a proclamation and raising of the Rainbow Pride Flag at Springdale Town Hall.

"The partnership between the Town of Springdale and the Indian River High Gender Sexuality Alliance is the result of a productive, open dialogue on the issue of inclusion and both groups been encouraged by these discussions," the statement reads.

"Together, we are committed to continuing respectful, informed conversations for the betterment of our entire community."

"It is the intention of both groups to continue to build a sense of belonging, pride and inclusion in our community, while celebrating diversity, appreciating the contributions of all citizens, and making Springdale a stronger, more vibrant community."

Springdale — which has a population of roughly 3,000 people — is located on Newfoundland's north shore.

There are about 25 regular members of the alliance out of a student population of 230, making it the largest single extracurricular group in the school.

Prominent Newfoundlanders criticized the rejection of the crosswalk on social media, while a different Newfoundland town council decided to install rainbow crosswalks without being asked.

The Canadian Press