Another try at rainbow flags
MILFORD – June is Gay Pride Month, and in Milford, there might be one more attempt to fly a gay pride flag on the Milford Oval this month – actually 22 flags.
New Selectman Paul Dargie says he is planning to introduce a motion at the June 25 board meeting to allow gay pride flags on the 22 flagpoles that surround the park, on June 30, the last day of the month.
June 30 is the same day the city of Nashua is holding its first gay pride parade.
“It’s pending – I haven’t submitted it to the board,” Dargie said, and it will be up to the chairman, Kevin Federico, to decide whether
the item even gets on the agenda. The rainbow flags would each be 3×5 feet, Dargie said.
Earlier this month, a group of residents led by George Hoyt petitioned the board for a rainbow flag to fly on the Oval, beneath the American flag, and also for selectmen to sign a proclamation recognizing June as Gay Pride Month, to show that Milford is inclusive.
The flag motion failed but the proclamation passed 3-2.
Selectmen Gary Daniels and Mike Putnam said Milford is already a welcoming community and a non-military flag would be a desecration and allowing it to fly would set a precedent for other groups, even white supremacists, who might want to fly a flag.
American flags were flying on the 22 flagpoles on June 14, Flag Day.
Daniels said he would defend any group’s First Amendment right to assembly on the Oval, but the flag is different and should be reserved for honoring veterans and the military.
Nashua’s parade is set for 2 p.m., starting in the Maple Street parking lot.
Mayor Jim Donchess said city officials want to show the city as inclusive and draw people downtown. Last year, the city celebrated the month with a flag-raising ceremony. This year, he told The Telegraph, there was a lot of enthusiasm for holding a parade, as other New England cities are doing.
June is Gay Pride, or LGBT Pride month, to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, in June of 1969, following a police raid at the Stonewall Inn.
A year later, gay activists organized the first Gay Pride march in U.S. history, covering 51 blocks between Greenwich Village and Central Park and taking up the entire street for about 15 city blocks.
Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.