Boonton flag policy reversal sparks controversy among Pride supporters, some residents

Toni Yates Image
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Boonton amends policy restricting flags that can be flown at municipal buildings
Toni Yates has more reaction from owners and residents in Boonton.

BOONTON, New Jersey (WABC) -- A community in Boonton expressed their outrage after the town's decision to reverse a ruling that bans almost all flags from being flown outside town hall, including the Pride flag.

A prior ordinance -- hastily passed by a narrow margin during the town's prior administration -- allowed Pride flags to be flown from town flagpoles. But that is no more.

Boonton Mayor James Lynch said in a statement that reversing the ruling "mitigates the unintended consequences and risk of allowing the town's flagpoles to be public forums that would be open to all flags and even some flags that could be considered undesirable to people."

"The only reason that we can conclude this is that we are the only ones who submitted an application to run a flag," said business owner Vickie Sommers.

The group, Boonton Pride, also won't be allowed to fly a flag over town hall for Pride Month and one on the pole over Grace Lord Park during their annual Pride Fest.

They say the town council reversing the ordinance is backlash for strides they've made in expanding acceptance in the town.

"I feel like made everyone feel so good that the town was behind them in a way that they hadn't shown before," said Boonton Pride's Lindsey Weismann. "And I think some people really hated that."

The LGBTIQ community and its supporters in town rallied on Wednesday, chalking out Pride flags on sidewalks in front of businesses.

"I believe in freedom of showing yourself, whoever you are," said business owner Alex Krasniakov.

Boonton Pride members acknowledged their main focus now is to get the ruling reversed once again.

"It's only been four months and they've completely overturned a bipartisan ordinance that they all agreed on at that time," Weismann said. "So it's huge."

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