Pride flag stirs controversy in Buffalo Grove

There was plenty of Pride on display in Buffalo Grove Monday night as members of the LGBTQ community and supporters pushed board members to raise a Pride flag at Village Hall.

Leading the charge is the mother of a 14-year-old girl who’s gay.

Carolyn Pinta says she is heartened by all the support she heard at last night’s meeting and calls it "an embarrassment that the Pride flag isn’t already flying here."

Others point out the Pride flag is being displayed by county and state governments all over the country.


But board members say lawyers working for the village are concerned flying the flag at Village Hall could bring lawsuits. 

Former board member Jeffrey Berman, who spoke at last night’s board meeting, said "This week It could be a rainbow next week it could be something more sinister like a swastika, the ‘stars and bars’, a right-to-life flag. You don’t know."

"Well first of all the Nazi flag is the ultimate symbol of hate," Pinta shot back. "The Pride flag is the ultimate symbol of love and acceptance. Last night somebody said ‘nobody was ever hurt or harmed by seeing a Pride flag.’ It’s a beautiful beacon of hope. It’s a light."

Supporters of the idea say it would symbolize that hate is not tolerated in Buffalo Grove.

Village Manager Beverly Sussman expressed frustration that attendees at the meeting took board members silence as a sign of opposition. She says because flying the Pride flag was not officially on the agenda, they were unable to address it.

"We love all of our residents. We really are very sincere in our support of the LGBTQ community and we believe in them," she said.

Sussman points out that several village officials attended the weekend Pride parade and says although lawyers have advised against raising the flag, the issue is still very much alive.

She has put it on the agenda for the June 21 village board meeting.

Sussman called mean-spirited Facebook posts about the board "hurtful" and said board members will have plenty to say at their next meeting.