Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Support Grows for Newfoundland Students in Town That Nixed a Rainbow Crosswalk

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Support Grows for Newfoundland Students in Town That Nixed a Rainbow Crosswalk

Article excerpt

Support grows for rainbow crosswalk

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SPRINGDALE, N.L. - There's growing support for students who made another pitch to town councillors after they voted down a rainbow crosswalk in Springdale, N.L., unleashing fierce debate.

But there was no hint Tuesday if or when the request for a widely embraced symbol of inclusion will be reconsidered.

Three teenagers from Indian River High School's Gender-Sexuality Alliance spoke at Monday night's council meeting. They hoped to convince local politicians to reverse their decision.

Christina Pelley, one of the group's teacher sponsors, said the three girls discussed everything from statistics on mental health and LGBTQ youth, to what a rainbow crosswalk represents.

"They did a fantastic job and whatever happens, it's a positive for those girls and for the entire group," she said Tuesday. "There are a lot of conversations that have been started -- important conversations that will keep going no matter what the result is, whether we get our rainbow crosswalk or not."

Councillors didn't vote on the presentation.

Lorinda Goudie, administrative assistant for the Town of Springdale, said Tuesday there is no follow-up meeting planned.

She said it's not known if or when there will be another vote on the crosswalk. No one from the council was immediately available to comment.

Earlier this month, the council voted four to three against painting the crosswalk -- something that has been done across the country as a symbol of welcome and support for the LGBTQ community.

Mayor Dave Edison, who cast the deciding vote, told a local Nor'Wester reporter he does not discriminate against anyone.

"I am just worried that, while they are asking for this to show inclusion, I think it is actually going to create a division," he said. "I have had people speak to me already about not wanting to see it there. I don't want to create that (animosity) in town. …

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