In New Jersey, some folks are mad.
The heat comes from Wyckoff township Mayor Tom Madigan’s refusal to fly the Gay Pride flag at Town Hall.
Critics claim the politician isn’t adequately representing the interests of the public.
In front of the central building stands three flagpoles. They sport the U.S. flag, the POW-MIA flag, and the Killed in Action flag.
But Bill Walmsley says run the dang rainbow up one of them poles:
“Fly it…this beautiful flag. … Let them enjoy it.”
Another resident — David Ryan — asserted, “Fly every flag. Who cares?”
Speaking to New York’s PIX11 News, David’s wife also approved of a multicolored windflappin’:
“You are what you are. Be yourself.”
Such views were expressed at Tuesday’s town meeting, which included a presented petition of 1,090 signatures — of which more than half were from Wyckoff residents.
Mayor Tom ain’t into the flag thing, but he did order that rainbow ribbons be placed on light poles surrounding the building.
In an email, hometown boy Adam Padla told PIX11 that flippin’ lightpole pins are dadgum insufficient:
“It’s inadequate. I faced bullying as a result of my sexuality throughout my time in Wyckoff schools. [It’s important] for children to feel the support of their community as they face opposition to who they are from peers on a daily basis.”
Perhaps it’s my sheepish nature, but personally, I wouldn’t want something that represents my sexual proclivities bein’ hung up everywhere; y’all just leave me alone.
But I’m different than Adam. What does a flag do for him? It “make[s] all residents — especially our children — feel welcomed in our town and not afraid to be who they are, standing up against opposition.”
Elaine Fichera wants her flag, and she wants it now:
“We want a proclamation that June is Pride Month, and that we will fly the flag.”
But there are reasons to say No: Remember that whole “every flag” thing? Well, it’s an issue.
As reported by ABC7:
[T]he council is worried that if they allow the Gay Pride flag to fly there, it creates what lawyers call a public forum, a place where anyone can give any message, even hate speech.
Nevertheless: “I want [my two young daughters] to live in a town where they feel loved and welcomed no matter what their sexual orientation is,” explained Erika Kao.
Another meeting attendee turns to the banner for comfort:
“It is a life preserver, it is a beacon of hope that there are people out there who accept me. To this day, 30 years after coming out myself, I look at it and it comforts me.”
And Ralph Passane demands inclusion:
“I’ve been fired from two jobs, I’ve been denied housing, I have been assaulted for being gay. Flying the pride flag stands for inclusion, acceptance.”
But there was another idea offered during the debate. One presented that should — but apparently, for some, doesn’t — go without saying.
Wyckoff resident Jack Albert pitched this:
“Protect the American flag. It’s the most inclusive flag in the world.”
Yes. It is.
What do you think? Should the Gay Pride flag be flown at City Hall? Please let us all know in the Comments section.
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