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Flying the Pride flag is a gateway to ISIS, a Connecticut official claims as town passes ban

Connecticut State Capitol Building Progress Pride LGBTQ Flag Inside Government Building
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Almost immediately after coming under Republican control, a Connecticut town council has voted to ban the LGBTQ+ Pride flag at its town hall.

A Connecticut town council voted to ban the LGBTQ+ pride flag in government buildings almost immediately after coming under Republican control.

The Enfield Town Council voted in a meeting Monday to ban all flags from flying at government buildings save for the United States, Connecticut state, and military flags. The new policy, which went through with a vote of 6-5, replaces a 2022 policy that allowed the rainbow flag to fly during Pride Month in June.

While some the council members pushing the policy claimed to do so as a way to remain "neutral," Councilor At-Large Gina Cekala, who voted against the measure, accused them of directly targeting the LGBTQ+ community and Pride flag.

“I think the real reason is you don’t want that Pride flag up on this town hall,” she said, “which is absolutely disgusting."

Tom Tyler, the interim town attorney, claimed at one point that if the the Pride flag was allowed to be flown, “ISIS could come in and want to display one, the IRA…basically anybody. You’d have to be content neutral and let everybody." He then went off-topic to accuse schools of trying to indoctrinate students with “transgender ideology.”

The decision came as a betrayal to many of the town's residents, including Brandon Jewell of PFLAG Enfield, who noted that two of the Republicans voting to ban flags previously voted in favor of the 2022 policy that allowed the Pride displays.

“We were disappointed. We were confused too because two of the Republican councilors voted in favor of it back in 2022,” he told NBC Connecticut. “It’s just disheartening to the community, for our youth mainly.”

Greg Gray, pastor of Enfield United Church of Christ and president of Enfield Pride, which donated the very Pride flag flown at the town hall, added that he is "disturbed that the new Republican majority felt this was a decision they needed to make basically on day one of them coming into office."

The local PFLAG group is asking those in opposition to the decision to attend a rally outside Town Hall on January 22, when the council meets next. Enfield Pride said in a statement that they "encourage Enfield businesses and citizens to display a flag in June and all year."

"Our hope is that even without a flag on town hall you will see more rainbows this year than last," they wrote.

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.