Flag likely to fly

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - It seems very likely the gay pride flag will fly in Amherst next year.

"If the organizers of a Gay Pride Week were to make an application with us to fly the flag for five days according to our policy I see no reason why I wouldn't approve that and that's within my authority," town manager Greg Herrett said Tuesday.

AMHERST - It seems very likely the gay pride flag will fly in Amherst next year.

"If the organizers of a Gay Pride Week were to make an application with us to fly the flag for five days according to our policy I see no reason why I wouldn't approve that and that's within my authority," town manager Greg Herrett said Tuesday.

In the days following Truro's refusal to fly the flag during Gay Pride Week celebrations, Cumberland Pride Support Group chair Gerard Veldhoven said he would be making application to both Amherst and the Municipality of Cumberland to fly the flag during local celebrations planned for next year.

The town never said it would not fly the flag but suggested it would have to follow policy while county Warden Keith Hunter suggested his municipality should have a policy only permitting the county, provincial and Canadian flags to be flown at the E.D. Fullerton Municipal Building.

While Herrett recognizes the decision to fly the gay pride flag could be a controversial one he said town policy does not pick and choose which flags can fly and which ones cannot.

"Everybody's entitled to their opinion but I manage the thing according to policy and I believe it's appropriate to approve that and I will," Herrett said.

Veldhoven, who has already been to town hall to pick up the paperwork associated with having the flag flown, is pleased with the decision.

"I'm very happy with that," Veldhoven said. "I didn't really think there would be a problem in Amherst and feel this sends a message to other communities and the public, not to mention the town."

Veldhoven said he has always felt accepted within the town and when he and his spouse, Norman Carter, became among the first legally married same-sex couples in the province they did not face any problems.

"You will always get some people who won't be satisfied with this or won't accept it, but I don't think it will bother most people," he said.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Cumberland Pride Support Group, E.D. Fullerton Municipal Building

Geographic location: AMHERST

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