‘Who are you with?’: Despite push, trustees mum on flying Pride flag in Buffalo Grove

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BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. – Some Buffalo Grove residents are pushing the village to fly a rainbow flag for the month of June, as one homeowner deals with a vandalized Pride display. But trustees have yet to vote on the issue.  

For the last three years, a large Pride parade has commenced in Buffalo Grove, although a flag representing the village’s LGBTQ community remains absent.

While the parade, this year, became a drive-thru affair during the pandemic, hundreds of people still gathered Sunday in celebration. Residents tell WGN that they feel the Village of Buffalo Grove is inclusive of the LGBTQ community. However, a fight remains.

“I’m here to stand with them to get this rainbow flag raised,” said Hainesville resident Kristal Larson.

Carolyn Pinta, who started the Pinta Pride Project, asked village officials back in January if a Pride flag could be flown throughout the month of June.

“This is national movement,” Pinta said. “Everyone is raising the flag.”

Yet, some residents say they understand the reasoning behind the delay.

“You know, it’s too political,” said Buffalo Grove resident Ilene Heyman. “We don’t want to make that statement.”

Pinta elaborated, saying that the village’s “legal counsel has told them that they’re opening themselves to be sued and other groups are going to come in and expect the same thing.”

Still, flags have been elsewhere.

“Naperville, Waukegan, Volo, Hawthorn Woods, Vernon Township,” Larson listed.

“Des Plaines, Arlington Heights and the one that got me the other day was our friends in Northbrook, which bless them, not only did they raise [the flag] in their Village Hall but they also raised it in their downtown area,” Pinta added.

On Monday, members of the community spoke out at a board of trustees meeting. 

“It doesn’ cost anything to raise a flag to recognize the people,” Larson said.

Pinta says she knows how inclusive many are in her community but adds that not everyone feels that way. Twice in the past week, someone has vandalized the Pride display in her front yard. 

“There were graduation signs and birthday signs on our block that weren’t damaged at all,” said Bob Pinta. “So, the rainbow display was targeted.”

The Pinta family is hoping village officials will change their minds.

“They really want to stay away from the other side, that’s the backlash right?” says Carolyn Pinta. “So, if there’s backlash, the backlash is for hate. We’re for love. So who are you with?”

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