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Pride flag controversy in Goshen forces local officials to take action

Some Goshen residents have opposed the town putting up a Pride flag on town property.

GOSHEN, Conn. — The small town of Goshen has been met with controversy after a Pride flag was put up next to Town Hall. 

Now, town officials have been forced to take action after the chaos it has brought. 

"Such a commotion over a Pride flag," said First Selectman Todd Carusillo.

As part of Pride Month, the flag has been flying in Simon Scoville Park as the town's way of showing inclusivity. 

RELATED: 'We've made big gains': Pride Month kicks off in towns, cities across Connecticut

"We don’t care what race, color, religion, sexual orientation, marital status. We represent everybody," added Carusillo. 

However, since it was put up on June 14, not everyone in town has agreed with it. 

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Carusillo said he has not been able to get anything done as he has been dealing with nonstop complaints from residents wondering why it is being flown and why it is on town property. 

"People calling, people stopping by, walking into my office, texts, people knocking on my door at my personal residence," Carusillo explained. 

RELATED: New Haven restaurant's pride flag stolen 3 times in 12 months

He has received lengthy letters from residents explaining their opposition. 

"That the flag that should be only here are the United States flag, state flags or the town flag," said Carusillo. 

To address the controversy, the Board of Selectmen made a decision at Tuesday night's meeting. 

Board members voted to put a moratorium on all flags of any organization for one year. 

Richard Stillson with Hartford Pride and CT Pride called this decision "a step back." 

"It’s unfortunate that such a small town can be identified as a hateful place," said Stillson. 

RELATED: Bishop punishes Massachusetts school over Black Lives Matter, Pride flags

With an understanding of the board members' tough decision, Stillson said this is an example of the struggle that is still taking place. 

"I think it speaks to their homophobia, biphobia and transphobia that there’s some deep-seated fears within that we’re going to try and change and recruit folks," added Stillson. 

Goshen's Pride flag will remain up until June 30. 

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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