Amherst to let sleeping dogs lie

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Following Truros recent flag-flap, Amherst doesnt want to make an issue out of something thats not an issue yet

Amherst is not about to get into the gay pride flag debate anytime soon.

While the town recently implemented a new policy on proclamations and flag-raising ceremonies, town manager Greg Herrett said, it won't discuss who can and can't fly a flag at town hall until asked.

Amherst is not about to get into the gay pride flag debate anytime soon.

While the town recently implemented a new policy on proclamations and flag-raising ceremonies, town manager Greg Herrett said, it won't discuss who can and can't fly a flag at town hall until asked.

"We don't want to make an issue out of something that's not an issue yet," Herrett said. "It's something we'll deal with when a request is received."

Herrett's comments come days after Truro mayor Bill Mills touched off a firestorm of protest when he and his council voted 6-1 against allowing the gay pride flag to be flown at town hall.

Under the new policy, Herrett has the discretion to allow, or disallow, proclamations or flag requests but can pass the decision on to town council should the need arise.

Amherst mayor Jerry Hallee doesn't have a stance on the Truro situation.He admitted the town has to be careful which flags it permits to fly because if you fly a flag for one group you have to for all groups.

"If we did it for every group in town there'd be so many flags on the pole there'd be no room for ours," the mayor said.

It's likely the town's policy will be put to the test next spring. Local gay rights activist Gerard Veldhoven plans on approaching both Amherst and the Municipality of Cumberland next spring to fly the gay pride flag in celebration of gay pride week.

"This just goes to show you there's a lot of work that still has to be done before there's equality and acceptance," Veldhoven said, adding he was angry when he first read the comments from the Truro mayor and councillors. "It does make you very angry and disappointed too."



dcole@amherstdaily.com

Geographic location: Cumberland

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  • Vicki
    January 18, 2010 - 11:24

    What a surprise that Mr. Veldhoven would be the one to stir the pot on this issue! Personally, I agree with Mayor Hallee's decision to practice some restraint with which flags are flown. If a gay pride flag is ever flown by officials in my hometown, it is my personal resolve to see plans made for a Family Pride flag and parade ... in the interest of equal rights, of course! Congratulations to Truro's Mayor on abiding with both majority vote and old-fashioned Christian morals! Democracy has always allowed the majority to rule, and I'm not sure why this fact is such a bone of contention among gay rights activists. God keep our land ....