DELAWARE, Ohio — The City of Delaware's Pride Festival is almost a week away, but one thing you won't see flying on city poles this year is pride flags due to a Supreme Court ruling from earlier this month.
“It's frustrating. It's also very angering, very sad,” Co-Chair of Delaware Ohio Pride Lee Webb said.
In Delaware, the city has put its banner and flag program on hold, right before Pride Month.
“If it's not a flag that the city owns or has control over - so the American flag, the state flag, or the City of Delaware flags - if it's not those three, then it's not gonna fly,” Webb said.
This stems from a Supreme Court ruling in Boston after the city denied a group's request to fly a Christian flag outside of City Hall. The court said that because the city had not previously involved itself heavily in selecting flags, it is not government speech, and therefore, the city was in the wrong.
Officials with the City of Delaware did not make themselves available for an interview but said in a note to those applying to raise flags that the city is reviewing its program because of this decision. The city said this could take several months.
But some, including Webb, are frustrated that the City of Worthington managed to find another way.
10TV spoke with the City of Worthington's attorney, who said they had been working on a flag policy change prior to the court ruling. The Worthington City Council passed a resolution that now requires the city council to approve any requests for flags, establishing the flags as government speech.
“I want everything to be correct, I understand that, but the fact that there are other towns that found another way around it to still fly the flag, it's just disconcerting,” Webb said.
Delaware Ohio Pride said businesses are still allowed to fly flags, so they’re working with local spots to get the flag flown.
Delaware Pride is happening on June 4 and starts at 10 a.m.