Request for a rainbow crosswalk is being made to the Valemount council (June 28, 2016) and in the same agenda is a carefully worded letter from a Christian group concerned about council proclaiming support for a minority group by saying yes to the crosswalk. The group also is also concerned about the cost to tax payers for painting it.

I am in support of the idea of the rainbow crosswalk, because it is a visible way to acknowledge the challenges any minority faces and for Valemount to show that it values diversity and inclusion. It helps recognize the privileges some of us take for granted while others need/ed to fight for it (Example: voter and property rights for women).

Seeing the opposition to the rainbow crosswalk comes from a Christian group, I want to point out that they and other churches receive support from the Village of Valemount through property tax exemption. If we determined the number of Valemount residents attending these places of worship, it would probably irk other Valemount residents to have their tax dollars subsidise a different minority.

I am also concerned by the fear and bias shown by some Christians against the Lesbian Gay community. Having studied in a convent myself and done some reading on Christianity, I see Jesus as a fearless and compassionate leader who literally embraced minorities and social outcastes.

If we disagree with an idea, we don’t have to adopt it ourselves. Recognizing a minority group doesn’t take away from an existing majority. By doing so, we only seed compassion and openness.

Rashmi Narayan

June 24, 2016