Glenview library raises Pride flag, and discussion follows
The Pride flag was raised Tuesday in Glenview at an appropriate location, its library.
"We had a number of community members reach out to us and ask if we could raise the Pride flag," Glenview Public Library Director Lindsey Dorfman said on Monday.
"Our top core value here at the library is creating a welcoming environment. We decided that it was something that we definitely could do and definitely should do," she said.
The flag being hoisted up one of the library's two flagpoles was announced June 19 on the Facebook site of Glenview Pride. The new group, headed by Glenview residents Patty Marfise-Patt and Rachel Schick Siegel, was posted less than two hours after several people presented comments at the June 15 Glenview village board meeting.
Glenview Pride, in its social media information, was "asking the Village of Glenview to fly the Pride flag and issue a proclamation of support for the LGBTQIA+ community."
So, too, were the speakers at the board meeting. They included recent Glenbrook South graduate Noah Walch; Lizzy Appleby, Pride/Share director of Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook; Rev. Dr. Chuck Mize, senior pastor of Glenview Community Church; and Rev. Josh Evans, pastor of St. Philip Lutheran Church.
Mize said the intersex-inclusive Progress-Pride flag he'd flown outside the church, 1000 Elm St., had been stolen or vandalized four times. At the meeting he showed a photo of the pole after someone had bent it on Flag Day, June 14.
Glenview Community Church is an Open and Affirming church in the United Church of Christ, which welcomes all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.
"I bring you this image to say to you that this is the reality of hate in Glenview," Mize said at the meeting.
St. Philip Lutheran is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, which in addition to its acceptance of all sexual orientations and gender expressions is committed to racial equity.
Evans credited the board for shifting the public comments portion toward the start of the meeting, a move he said Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton helped facilitate.
Yet Evans found it curious that, like the speakers before him, Village board President Mike Jenny used prepared remarks to address the speakers; that Jenny's main response was the board was focused on city services and did not commemorate "heritage" events; and the speakers were merely thanked for their comments.
"I think the expectation was there could have been some discussion," Evans said.
Be it praise or criticism, though, standard practice for public comment has the board allow the petitioner his or her three minutes and possibly take those opinions back for consideration that may indeed shape future policy.
Walch disagreed with the practice of not honoring specific months or causes.
"I'm speaking to a president and trustees, elected by the people of Glenview to demonstrate leadership and make decisions on behalf of the community," the recent graduate said. "A decision has thus been presented to you: Proudly proclaim Glenview as a place of inclusion and acceptance, or cow to a loud minority to spew bigotry for bigotry's sake."
Jenny later stood by his remarks made at the meeting.
"It is important to note that beyond flying village-, county-, state-, federal- and congressional-approved flags on Village of Glenview flagpoles, this unit of local government does not currently officially observe heritage months and heritage days that individuals and businesses in our diverse community may choose to celebrate," he said June 15.
"While we always encourage advancing the fundamental freedoms of opinion and expression, our primary purpose as a unit of local government is to provide essential public services such as public safety services and community development, among many others, all in a financially prudent manner."
However, before going to his notes Jenny said he personally agreed with the speakers and had been pleased to see the flag shown around the village.
"I promise that I will keep your comments in mind as we review our procedures for the coming year," he concluded.
In addition to Tuesday's event at Glenview Public Library, there will be more Pride offerings in the coming weeks.
The Democrats of Northfield Township Pride Picnic will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at Techny Prairie Park's Bluegill Shelter, 1750 Techny Road, Northbrook.
Committee person Tracy Katz Muhl said the purpose of the event, timed for the normal running of the Chicago Pride Parade postponed this year to Oct. 3, is to "celebrate Pride Month and hear post-session updates from our Northfield Township elected officials."
The picnic, catered by Little Louie's with donations supporting Youth Services' Pride Program, costs $20 for adults, $10 for children.
"It's something that the Democrats started talking about a while ago in part because the Pride Parade and other events would be COVID-cancelled," said Katz Muhl, who stressed that the picnic was not a partisan affair. "And so we're looking for a COVID-safe alternative way to celebrate Pride and also figure out how to have our typical June event. So this predates the conversation in Glenview."
Glenview Pride will have a booth at the village's July 4 reverse parade, which starts at noon at Community Park West, 1001 Zenith Drive. The organization also is visiting businesses to ask them to hang Glenview Pride flyers.
In an email, Marfise-Patt said Britton was the driving force to have Glenview Public Library display the Pride flag, an act library Director Dorfman supports.
"It makes sense for the library because we are an institution that is open to freedom of expression and inclusion, and access to ideas and information," she said.
"The village is aware that this is happening, and they support it for the library."