The union’s leader, Jørn Eggum, reacts very strongly to the fact that the management of Thon Hotels has informed their hotels that they are not allowed to raise Pride flags.
We have not raised rainbow flags on our flag poles because we want to be neutral, that inclusion and diversity should embrace everyone, says executive director Morten Thorvaldsen to TV2.
Jørn Eggum thinks this is shameful.
Here the executive director has to take a good look in the mirror and ask himself what the Thon hotels really stand for. Claiming neutrality when our queer brothers and sisters experience terror, flag burning and incitement is simply not appropriate.
It would be bloody cowardly if this decision were to stand. When our values of diversity, equality and equal rights are threatened and face opposition – that is exactly when it is important to stand up for them. Raise the rainbow flag, Olav! says Eggum.
VG profiler Morten Hegseth believes this makes it reasonably clear to everyone which hotel the homophobes can now go to.
The fact that Thon now bans pride flags makes me even more certain which Norwegian hotel chain is mine. Now the homophobes probably know which hotel they can go to, too, he says.
Scandic Hotels also supports Pride.
We will raise the Pride flag at all our hotels for a week, from 23 June until 1 July. Our employees will be encouraged to use key card hangers with rainbow colours and make them visible, says communications manager Lars Vestad at Scandic Norge.
TV profile Benjamin Baarli Silseth thinks it’s a shame that Thon Hotels takes such a stand.
They claim to be neutral, but I don’t think we should be neutral when people are punished and killed in other countries because they were born the way they are, he says.
Strawberry owner Petter Stordalen goes the further and is the main sponsor of Pride.
At Strawberry, we have always and will always support diversity and inclusion, we have for many years been a proud main sponsor of Pride. We all remember last year’s terrible terrorist incident in Oslo. In Strawberry, we therefore raise our flags high and look forward to the pride celebrations all over the Nordics, says Stordalen, and adds:
If someone criticises us for flying flags, we will raise even more flags.
In 2018, Emilie Stordalen described those who did not want to raise the pride flag as people with “mediaeval attitudes that we should stuff somewhere where the sun never shines”.