Little Compton flag: Now that’s how Democracy works

Posted 6/16/21

To the editor:

Last Thursday evening, I attended the meeting of the Little Compton Town Council to see if the organizers would be permitted to fly the Pride flag from Town Hall on the day of the …

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Little Compton flag: Now that’s how Democracy works

Posted

Last Thursday evening, I attended the meeting of the Little Compton Town Council to see if the organizers would be permitted to fly the Pride flag from Town Hall on the day of the first ever Little Compton Coming Out Block Party on June 12. The event was designed to be a celebration of gay pride and of love, geared towards young people who might be struggling with sexual identity issues.

 I had heard from the organizers that the cards were stacked against us; the head of the council, although unable to attend the meeting, had already let them know he was opposed to flying the flag. It quickly became apparent that sentiment on the council was, as usual, split along party lines, which would not result in the 3-2 vote in favor of the flag that we needed.

Arguments against flying the Pride flag included the precedent that would be set, opening the door for anyone and everyone to request a demonstration of their particular cause on our town government flag pole. “Where does it stop?” We were urged to fly it elsewhere in town, maybe to even fly two flags, just not on the Town Hall flag pole.

Thoughtfully and deliberately, organizers of the event, Megan Gonzalez, Jenna Magnuski and Raúl Iriarte de Moore, and their supporters, presented their case. They persisted. They explained that flying the flag on Town Hall, right underneath the Stars and Stripes, would affirm that all citizens in our town and in our country have the right to the pursuit of happiness, regardless of their sexual orientation. It would be a symbol that all are welcome here and that all who live here are part of our community. It would affirm the humanity of all LGBTQ+ adolescents and adults, offering them education, mentoring, and above all communicating to them “You Are Not Alone.”

I want to recognize and to commend the town councilors who attended for listening, for learning, and for responding so positively to what they heard. When Paul Golembeske suggested allowing the Pride flag for this one day, after which a flag policy would be established, we could feel the tide turn. The final vote was 4-0 in favor of flying the flag.

The Little Compton Town Council demonstrated last Thursday evening what real democracy looks like. They affirmed our common humanity, and they showed a willingness to really listen to the citizens they represent. They showed the ability to distinguish between a political cause and a human rights issue. Love Won in Little Compton. And I have no doubt love will win again when we all work together to establish a flag policy for our town!

Jana Porter

Little Compton

 

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