Buffalo Grove leaders lament 'hate and lies' over Pride flag controversy

In the wake of controversy over the flying of a Pride flag over municipal property, Buffalo Grove trustees on Monday approved guidelines for raising special flags on the Rotary Village Green.

But village leaders also said they were hurt by criticism aimed at them, often with abusive language, for not granting a request to fly the Pride flag over village hall.

“Some members of the Pride family are posting hate and lies about us on Facebook,” Village President Beverly Sussman said. “What happened to the love and kindness from this movement? I hope it doesn't disappear.”

The new rules include an application process and a deadline of Nov. 1 for submitting a request to fly a special flag over the Rotary Village Green for a period of time the following year.

Trustees agreed to fly the Pride flag over the village-owned site this month after about 40 people protested their decision not to raise the flag outside village hall.

“Just because we don't fly the Pride flag at village hall does not mean in any way that we don't support the cause,” Trustee Joanne Johnson said Monday. “Many people either don't understand or don't want to try to understand the constitutional implications of using village property to promote private opinions, but there are decades of legal cases addressing the issue.”

Trustee Eric Smith said he was saddened to see “so much negativity” just days after the village officially took part in the Pride Drive event.

“To say I was disappointed afterward about how the issue of raising the Pride flag was handled would be an understatement,” he said. “My fellow trustees and I were bombarded with emails I still find disturbing two weeks later. To be called a bigot and a homophobe in emails by members of a group that is supposed to be all about love and acceptance was something I wasn't expecting and found somewhat shocking.”

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