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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Protest organizer now eyeing Arlington Heights after Pride flag rejection
by Andrew Davis
2021-07-10

This article shared 696 times since Sat Jul 10, 2021
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The individual who organized a June 30 protest in Elk Grove Village against what many perceived to be an anti-trans+ law as well as the lack of a Pride flag flying there is now looking at what is happening in a different Chicago suburb.

Lynn (Kaylyn) Ahn (she/they) told Windy City Times that Arlington Heights doesn't fly the Pride flag so there would be an upcoming rally there, and that they are working with other individuals and groups, such as the League of Women Voters of Arlington Heights.

According to an Instagram account belonging to "Luke.Sparreo," the suburb "just passed an ordinance banning the Pride and Juneteenth flags at village buildings." The post then instructs people to email various village officials, including Mayor Tom Hayes.

The Daily Herald reported that after a request to fly the Pride flag at Arlington Heights village hall, board members narrowly approved new, written rules permitting four flags that can be flown. However, the Pride flag is not on the list.

In Arlington Heights, the only banners that are allowed to fly at the hall are the official flags of the United States of America, state of Illinois and village as well as the National League of Families POW/MIA flag. Supporting the new flag policy were Mayor Tom Hayes as well as trustees Rich Baldino, Jim Tinaglia, John Scaletta and Jim Bertucci. Those voting against included Nicolle Grasse, Mary Beth Canty and Robin LaBedz. Trustee Tom Schwingbeck, who was first to propose the village board's Pride Month proclamation in May, was absent from the meeting.

"It is shocking that in 2021 that we have five white men voting to take us back to 1974," said village resident Karine Fiore, according to the Arlington Heights Post.

When invited by Windy City Times for his thoughts, Hayes responded, "Thanks for the invitation, but trying to move on."

WCT asked Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson about no Pride flag flying there during Pride Month. He replied, "We have no problem with [the LGBTQ+ community]; I went to a local Pride event this year with my trustees. However, the village has had a long-standing policy in which we fly three flags on three poles. The flags stand up for unity, diversity and tolerance, but they are the U.S. flag, the Illinois flag and the municipal flag of Elk Grove Village.

"Over the years, we've had [many] groups and organizations ask us to fly flags, such as veterans, Irish Americans and others. But we just fly those three flags."

When asked about Johnson's comments, Ahn said, "We did talk to Craig Johnson, and it might be the same with Arlington Heights—but they have these excuses that they're using to not fly the flag. I think it's incredibly important to have these symbols of inclusiveness throughout the village."

On June 30, the Elk Grove Village Council officially overturned what it called "an antiquated, 60-year old provision of the Village Code that mandated individuals to wear clothing only specific to their gender."

Ahn stated that she would love to hold protests/rallies in other suburbs and even downstate—and expressed an interest in even having the ordinance changed statewide, through the Illinois General Assembly.

Details of the Arlington Heights protest/rally will be revealed at a later date.


This article shared 696 times since Sat Jul 10, 2021
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