We like to consider our communities open and welcoming of diversity – but does that sentiment disappear when it’s part of Eastsound’s landscape?
The owners of Brown Bear Baking – a gay couple who recently moved to Orcas – received a loving welcome to the island. It was a particularly trying time for David and Lee, as they were in a car accident just one week before their bakery launch date of July 4. The community rallied around them, helping their new venture get off the ground.
Yet when they hung up a rainbow flag beneath the American flag on the bakery’s lawn, they received anonymous complaints. As a result, David and Lee took down their flag, a symbol of gay pride that is used across the globe.
We are saddened and embarrassed that two new members of our community experienced this kind of narrow-mindedness. We live in a state – and a county – that overwhelmingly approved gay marriage, yet an innocuous, colorful flag was apparently too much for some community members to bear.
We would like to remind these anonymous protesters that our island fabric is woven with love, support and acceptance of differences.
We would also like to remind our readers – many of whom commented on this story on www.islandssounder.com – that name-calling doesn’t help anyone in this situation. We haven’t heard from those in opposition of the gay pride flag, but spewing vitriol their direction probably won’t change their minds about homosexuality.
Having said that, we appreciate our community members’ passion for equality. We hope that our words of kindness can be heard over the low murmur of intolerance.