SCRANTON, Pa. -- A new flag is flying in downtown Scranton this month. The gay pride flag is on the flagpole at City Hall, and it's getting mixed reviews from members of the LGBT community.
June is LGBTQ Pride Month, and a new rainbow flag is flying with the City of Scranton's flag outside City Hall for the first time. It's a symbol of pride for the LGBTQ community.
"We're so excited to have the first raising of the pride flag in our city," said Joshua Mast.
Mast and his partner own Posh at the Scranton Club. It's right across the street from City Hall and hosts a number of LGBTQ friendly events, especially this month.
"The main thing is to not just think that this flag is a gay pride flag. It's a pride, and everyone should be proud of who they are and what they've accomplished or what they want to accomplish," said Mast.
Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright tells Newswatch 16 the city decided to fly the pride flag this month to show that everyone is welcome in Scranton.
"It really does say that Scranton is welcoming, that Scranton wants people here, and it just says a lot about the type of people that are here. There are really good people that are here in this town," added Mast.
Tim Maloney runs the #queerNEPA initiative, which works to unite communities and create visibility for LGBTQ rights. Maloney feels differently about the city.
"I have mixed feelings about that. I'd say there are some that are welcoming and some that aren't," said Maloney.
Maloney thinks the flag is a step in the right direction, but the city and Pennsylvania as a whole should be doing more.
"Passing anti-discrimination legislation both countywide in Luzerne and Lackawanna and statewide, especially as it pertains to conversion therapy for minors which is a terrible thing I think to even be existing in modern America."
In addition to the flag in Scranton, there are numerous events planned for LGBTQ Pride Month around our area.