More than 3,600 sign petition to fly Pride flag at Town Hall

Courtesy of Irish Eyes Photography

June 2, 2020 by Carol Britton Meyer

On Thursday afternoon, the selectmen will consider a Proclamation for LGBTQ Pride Month. The June 4 meeting starts at 2:30 p.m.

In the meantime, more than 3,600 people have signed a petition started by Hingham student William Buckley asking the Selectmen to fly the Pride flag at Town Hall during Pride Month, which is June.

William participated in the Selectmen's teleconference call Tuesday night and brought up the petition during the public comment period.

"Is there any possible way [a flag could fly at Town Hall]?" he asked.

Selectmen Chairman Karen Johnson said it was difficult to respond fully to questions posed during that part of the meeting because a subject must appear on the agenda in order to be discussed in any great detail, in conformance with the Open Meeting Law.

The Selectmen were approached earlier by a group of citizens who asked them to fly the Pride flag during June. "The board has been talking with legal counsel to determine the risks and also the policies that might need to be in place related to the  public display of another flag with the flags of the United States and the Commonwealth [that are already flown there],"" Johnson said.

She explained that occasionally other flags directly related to war veterans and one recently commemorating  Peace Officers Memorial Day -- an observance that pays tribute to  local, state, and federal peace officers who have died, or who have been disabled, in the line of duty -- have flown at Town Hall.
"Other than that, we don't have a policy," Johnson said.

She went on to tell Buckley that the Thursday meeting agenda had been posted that day, "at which time we will talk about a proclamation endorsing and celebrating Pride Month and the efforts of the Hingham Pride Project. That's what we are prepared to do," she said.

Selectmen Mary Power and Joseph Fisher did not have anything to add.

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