Fairhaven Announces Decision on Flying Pride Flag at Town Hall
Last June, the Fairhaven Select Board found itself embroiled in a controversy after denying a request to fly a pride flag on the Town Hall's flagpole.
Selectmen Dan Freitas and Keith Silvia said they denied the request to fly the flag because of concerns that they'd be setting a precedent to fly other flags that residents may find offensive.
During last year's Pride Month, in a show of protest, supporters of the flag planted 100 pride flags around the perimeter of the Fairhaven Town Hall's front lawn. By the following morning, the flags had been removed. Fun 107 later found out that the flags were removed by the Town Hall's custodian at the request of the Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator Wendy Graves.
What a difference a year makes.
With Pride Month approaching, the newly formed five-member Fairhaven Select Board not only unanimously approved that a pride banner fly at Town Hall, but there was even discussion that a permanent pride flag be mounted inside the building.
The board tabled a vote on setting a concrete flag and banner policy until more research could be conducted to shed light on how surrounding cities and towns are handling such requests. This would affect the precise wording of the policy.
Fairhaven resident Ronny Manzone, a transgender woman, spoke before the vote to approve the pride banner.
"I never realized the importance of that flag until I flipped to this lifestyle," Manzone said. "I'm proud of what I am today. I've found a better version of me. That flag represents caring about people. I can't think of a better way for this community to express that."
As of now, the banner will fly for the first two weeks of June. Banner space for Fairhaven's Homecoming was reserved for the final two weeks of June.
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