Wilton Manors considers raising it all year long

In June, Wilton Manors became the first city in Broward to raise the rainbow-colored gay pride flag at city hall for LGBT Pride Month.

Now, the city may be the first to raise it permanently.

At the Oct. 13 commission meeting, resident Timothy Evans suggested the flag’s permanent display as a representation of the city’s large gay and lesbian population and its majority – four out of five – gay and lesbian commission. According to the 2010 Census, Wilton Manors has the second highest number of same-sex couples in the nation for cities with populations under 100,000. Provincetown, Massachusetts has the most.

Commissioners will discuss the issue at their next meeting on Oct. 27 but there’s at least one commissioner, Vice Mayor Scott Newton, who is against the idea. “It sets the wrong kind of precedent. We’re a community of all and not just one type of person.”

John Fiore, elected Wilton Manors’ first openly-gay mayor in 2000 and Broward’s first openly gay elected official in 1988, said he personally supports raising the pride flag at city hall.

“My first comment is boy, have we come a long way. It represents a large portion of our population.” The possible negative, he added, “is every other group might want to have their flag up there as well. Where do you draw the line?” He suggested the city develop a flag policy to ensure things don’t get out of control. “A good thing can turn into a bad thing easily.”