SURFSIDE, Fla. – Something that is not flying on flag poles around the town of Surfside is causing a stir.
“I can’t believe in 2022, this is what residents are dealing with,” said resident Eliana Saltzhauer.
The reasoning behind ditching plans to raise a Pride flag in the town is causing hurt.
“It’s more than just a flag, it’s a symbol that the LGBTQ community are welcomed in Surfside, that they’re accepted,” said resident Joshua Epstein.
Just last year, almost to the day, a town celebration of sorts took place as the Pride flag was raised during Pride Month.
But this year, those plans have been cast aside.
A Town of Surfside spokesperson said, “…there are no plans to raise it this year because the Town does not currently have a written flag policy. In the past, it has only allowed for Town or government flags to be flown except for one instance last year based on a Commissioner’s request.”
The Miami Herald is reporting that the town’s newly elected mayor is fearful of being forced to fly swastikas or satanic flags.
“Their reasoning behind not doing it is cowardice,” said Saltzhauer. “They’re reason behind not doing it is a cover for bigotry. That’s what it is.”
Gabriel Paez, the executive director of Miami-Dade’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, calls the move disheartening, especially when so many other communities, such as Hollywood and Miami Beach, are proudly flying the Pride flag.
“It is a step backwards,” Paez said. “It is unfair because we don’t even push the same agenda, we’re all about love and understanding and compassion and empathy.”
Added Saltzhauer: “Putting up a Pride flag does not in any way open up the door to Satanists or to Nazis.”