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In Massachusetts, police are looking into the theft of more than 200 Pride Flags.

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In Carlisle, Massachusetts, shortly before Pride month, police are looking into the theft of over 200 Pride flags. This happened in the midst of a surge of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation from US legislators.

The Carlisle police department said in a statement on Friday that it is looking into the theft of the flags, which were removed earlier this week from a well-known local traffic roundabout.

The flags had been positioned at the traffic circle, and the police claimed to have been informed on May 27 that they had been taken over night. The last time the flags were spotted was on Sunday night.

Chief of Police Andrew Amendola of Carlisle remarked, “We are taking this very seriously.” “We want everyone to feel safe and welcome here, and it is unfortunate,” he continued, referring to Carlisle as an inclusive town.

The governing board of the city, the Carlisle Select Board, chair Travis Snell, stated in a Facebook message that the actions and behavior in question are unacceptable in Carlisle. He added, “Our police department is working to identify whoever is responsible and they will be held accountable.”

According to local news station NBC10, Snell said, “On behalf of the town of Carlisle, the Select Board would like to reiterate that Carlisle is an inclusive community that respects its freedoms and the rights of individuals.”

After the flags were stolen, individuals replaced them quickly, according to NBC10.

Every year, June marks Pride Month, a time to celebrate LGBTQ+ individuals. It honors the Stonewall Inn bar rebellion of 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York City, where customers resisted police intimidation and extortion, sparking the current LGBTQ+ protest and celebration movement.

The flags were stolen in the midst of increased prejudice in the US against LGBTQ+ groups. According to a March study by the nonpartisan popular Religion Research Institute, popular support for same-sex marriage and the protection of LGBTQ+ populations from discrimination has decreased.

According to the study, Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have been less supportive of LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination laws over the past three years, with support for same-sex marriage falling from 69% to 67% in the past year. The support was 83% in 2020 and dropped to 75% in 2023.

In the meantime, South Carolina has become the 25th state in the US to limit or outlaw gender-affirming care for adolescents after Republican governor Henry McMaster recently signed a measure into law that outlaws such care for transgender minors.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, at least 515 anti-LGBTQ+ laws have been introduced nationwide as of 2024.

The ACLU stated, “State legislatures are advancing bills that target transgender people, limit local protections, and allow the use of religion to discriminate, even as more states strive to pass laws to protect LGBTQ people every year.” “The ACLU will not back down from denouncing these heinous assaults around the country. LGBTQ individuals have the right to prosper, live in safety, and receive dignified treatment.

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