RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – LGBT Pride Month begins June 1 across the country.
Some controversy is brewing in one New Jersey town over which type of flag will be raised.
The flag pole at Rutherford Borough Hall will be getting some extra color. The local pride alliance asked that a rainbow flag go up for pride month, but some residents are against.
An online petition from a group called Rutherford United, and it’s leader Christopher Moore, are raising questions: “Will the council now allow any group to repaint a crosswalk or fly a flag? Why is one group given preference over another? If one group is allowed to make these changes then others will follow?”
The LGBTQ community originally asked to paint a crosswalk rainbow colors, then changed the request. The opposition says flying the pride flag “will only foster division.”
Rutherford Pride Alliance Chairman Rob Lyons says the opposing group is actually doing the opposite.
“The reaction afterwards was something that’s inspiring brought community together support reverse effect of intention of petition,” Lyons told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
The borough council voted unanimously to raise the pride flag on June 1.
Councilwoman Maria Begg-Roberson calls the flag the pinnacle of inclusivity.
“The rainbow flag is a symbol of love and progress and why wouldn’t you want to celebrate love and progress between two adults,” she said.
“It’s a huge thing for us to have symbol raised, because it shows Rutherford is truly inclusive,”
Walking downtown, Baker found it hard to find anyone against flying the pride flag.
“Upsetting that someone wants to protest something like this. Everyone should be included. Upsetting to know some community members not as inclusive as the rest of us,” said one Rutherford resident.
“I think the flag should be raised… People should be allowed to do what they want to do,” said Rutherford resident Steve Bistany.
“In this day and age we are for gay pride,” a Rutherford resident named Kelly told Baker. “Things are changing. Times are changing. So the community should be for the pride flag.”
“I think we should be welcoming to everyone. It’s hurtful to not be welcome somewhere,” said a woman named Donna.
CBS2 tried to reach out to Chris Moore and the group Rutherford United but did not hear back.