Rainbow flags, rainbow crosswalks, rainbow business window stickers, safe space signs. We love seeing the support from communities, businesses, and individuals by showing the ROY-G-BIV. Sometimes though, we think people get jealous of our swag.
The city of Boston receives countless applications to fly flags over City Hall Plaza. One such request that has been repeated several times is the flying of the LGBT Pride Flag. We thank the city for flying our rainbow fabric over their city in a show of support and solidarity.
But a little while ago, Boston said no to one request. Harold Shurtleff filed all the appropriate paperwork to have his Camp Constitution flag fly high over the city. The no turned into a court case and US District Court Judge Denise Casper ruled that the discrimination lawsuit had no grounds since it was not discrimination, but the city keeping with the separation of church and state for no religious flags should be raised over a government building.
The case, which started with the denial in 2017, was filed in 2018, finally had resolution this past week in February of 2020. A great deal of time and money for a case of a New Hampshire religious group desiring to fly their Christian flag over the capital of another state. Here is footage from the back in 2017 when the flag fiasco started.
The city stuck to its stance on the separation of church and state, believing they were in the right. Boston and their legal department has stated that flying a Christian flag would be seen as favoring a particular religion over another, even though Camp Constitution has cited out of the 284 different flags between 2005 and 2017 alone that Boston has flown, more than once have been the Turkish flag (which has Islamic symbolism) and the Vatican flag, representing the Catholic nation. The City Hall Plaza flagpoles fly the United States and Massachusetts flags, a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flag and the city of Boston’s flag on the third pole, which is replaced by requested flags, but there is no evidence that Boston has turned down a request, until the Christian Camp Constitution request.
Oh, sorry, there was one more flag Boston refused – The Boston Herald states that the only other flag the city refused to fly was a “straight pride” flag before the controversial “straight pride” parade last year.
Camp Constitution’s request to fly the ‘Christian’ flag (as it is labeled by the organization), which bears the Latin cross … should be denied, because … the flag sends an overt religious message, and could reasonably be construed to be an endorsement of Christianity by the City, which would be a violation of the Establishment Clause. – Boston’s Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh via the Herald.
Of course, separation of church and state once again means nothing to churchy people. Shurtleff will take his flag and appeal the decision and if needed, he says he will go all the way to the Supreme Court. Someone else that doesn’t understand that no means no.
A response to the ruling was shared on the Camp Constitution website:
In the wake of the lawsuit that Camp Constitution filed against the City of Boston, city officials came up with the rules for flag-raising ceremonies. Rule 1 excludes “religious movements” but Rule 3, says that participants can’t discriminate based on sex, race, and religion. So, the City can discriminate against religion but participants can’t. Rule 1 reads that flags can’t be offensive. Offensive to whom? I think that the answer is obvious: Offensive to the Marxists who run the city. A communist flag is not offensive to Mayor Marty Walsh and the City Council but it is offensive to people who love liberty.
Camp Constitution also lists off the upcoming flags being flown over the city with their own little comment for Pride…
Here is a list of dates for flag-raising events from the city’s website:
February 15, Lithuania, March 6 Ghana, March 8 Tibet, March 14, Ireland May 3, Poland May 17, Haiti May 31 Boston Pride Week June 4 (This is a religious flag since churches all over the city fly it),
Seriously? By flying a rainbow flag over an accepting and inclusive church, it makes the rainbow flag a religious one? Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Someone is off balance.
According to the Camp Constitution website, it describes itself as a Christian group that seeks to “enhance understanding of our Judeo-Christian moral heritage, our American heritage of courage and ingenuity, including the genius of our United States Constitution.”
Once again, this is a religious group that prides themselves on celebrating the Constitution. How did they miss one of the biggest items in the Constitution? We think they need to go back to studying their documents for they must have skipped over the separation of church and state section. But then again, religions always seem to be selective in what they follow from their good books and docs.