GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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July 13, 2013

The Mayor's Desk: The reverend and the rainbow flag

The other day I took myself to breakfast at Morning Glory on the Boulevard.

As I headed to a table, a nice woman beckoned me over, and said, “Did you see that awful column in the paper about you a few days ago?”

Chuckling to myself, I asked her, “Which one?” She replied, “the one written by the Rockport reverend.”

I told her that I had not seen it and that was pretty much the end of the conversation. I sat down with my trusty copy of the Gloucester Daily Times, and began to read.

When I got to the editorial page, I noticed two letters written in response to the reverend’s column. My curiosity piqued, I used my iPhone to see if I could bring up the original column on the Times’ mobile website.

I found it and proceeded to nearly choke on my scrambled eggs with cheese, linguica and onion as I read the reverend’s description of me shaking my fist at the face of God by flying the rainbow flag. I suddenly understood what the woman at the other table was talking about.

My office had been contacted by a citizen as well as the mayor’s office in Salem. Both were wondering if the city of Gloucester would participate in gay pride month in any way. Would Gloucester join in marching in the pride parade in Salem with other mayors from the North Shore? Would Gloucester hoist the rainbow flag? Was the city going to host a ceremony to kick off the month as they were doing in Salem?

I made decisions on each:

“No, I can’t march in the Pride Parade in Salem – it’s our Fiesta weekend.”

“Yes, we can join the other North Shore cities of Salem, Beverly, Peabody, Lynn in flying the flag.”

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