A loss of Pride


To the Editor:
Last Tuesday, April 26, many of us attended and many spoke at the Oak Bluffs select board meeting to ask the select board to fly the Progress Pride flag for Pride month (June) in a place of high visibility that would signal to visitors and Islanders alike that the town is proud of its LGBTQ+ residents, and welcomes all to our town. It also signals this town is a place of safety for LGBTQ+ folks. As the speakers said, this Progress Pride flag is about equity, equality, and human rights. 

That evening, someone stole the Progress Pride flag that flies beside the front door of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Vineyard Haven. We reported it to the Tisbury Police Department. 

While we cannot know for certain the motivation for such a crime, it is an affront to the values of LGBTQ+ and of equality for which the Progress Pride flag stands. Indeed, it is hard not to experience this as a hate crime directed against our congregation and the LGBTQ+ community. 

But hate will not have the last word. 

On Sunday, May 8, we will gather at 11 am for our worship service, focusing on a call to action for climate justice, joining churches across the Island. Before the service closes, we will rededicate ourselves to the cause of LGBTQ+ equality and human rights for all, and then raise our new Progress Pride flag, at 12 noon. 

I would warmly welcome you to attend our Sunday service on May 8 at 11 am to stand with us for climate justice and against hate for LGBTQ+ people on our Island. We are located at 238 Main St. in Vineyard Haven. You will hear our bell calling us to gather at 11 am. The new Progress Pride fFlag will be proudly displayed during the service and then moved to the new flagpole in front of the church, following the service. If you are not able to attend in person, you may join the service on Zoom by going to our website, uusmv.org, and clicking on “in-person or virtual Sunday services: 11 am. Please join us.”

Rita Brown, president
Unitarian Universalist Society of Martha’s Vineyard
Brown is a member of the NAACP executive committee and the NAACP LGBTQ+ committee.  –Ed.