Rainbow Crosswalk Appears After Fairhaven Selectmen Deny Pride Flag Outside Town Hall

The decision not to allow the flag to fly was based on a town policy that says 60 days notice is required and the board has the last word

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A rainbow crosswalk appeared in front of town hall in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, shortly after the Board of Selectmen voted 2-1 not to allow a pride flag to be flown outside the building.

Keith Silvia, a town selectman who voted to deny the request, said "the stars and stripes right there represent everybody."

The request was made before the board at a June 7 meeting, according to South Coast Today.

The decision to deny the request was based on a town policy that says 60 days' notice is required and the board has the last word. But the pride flag has flown beneath the stars and stripes in the past, though selectman Dan Freitas says that was against the advice of the town counsel.

"He said if we were to fly it, then somebody could come in and fly the Nazi flag and we were stuck with it," Freitas said. "We could say no, but then we'd be sued."

He also voted no, and he says he got inquiries about other flags.

"There was the Trump flag, and I believe the other one was the Gadsden flag, and I got a call for the Confederate flag, and I said, 'Don't bother,'" Frietas said. "I don't want to deal with that."

Some in town, like Tina Newman, say that comparison doesn't fly.

"That's not even apples-to-apples, I don't think," she said. "I mean, that's a candidate, or it's not showing inclusivity. It's showing hate, in my opinion."

Many are upset the rainbow flag has been turned down.

"Some of us in town are gay. I'm proud of being gay and I feel like that's a discriminatory act against us," resident Lilia Cabral-Bernard said. "A lot of us in town feel that way. And I'm sort of embarrassed by it, to be honest. Always been proud to live in this town, and lately, not so much."

Freitas defended his vote, claiming this was mostly a political issue being trumpeted to make him look bad in an election year and arguing the safest policy is to allow only the state and military flags to fly beneath the American flag.

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