Macy’s removes display marking local gay pride week
This photo provided by MassResistance shows a window display marking gay pride week and featuring two male mannequins, with one wearing a gay pride rainbow flag, at Macy’s department store in downtown Boston. (AP Photo)
BOSTON –Macy’s department store has altered a window display marking Boston’s gay pride week after a group that opposes gay marriage complained it was offensive.
The display at the downtown Boston store featured two male mannequins, with one wearing a gay pride rainbow flag around his waist, next to a list of several planned Boston Pride Week events.
The mannequins were removed after MassResistance, formerly the Article 8 Alliance, which has campaigned against gay marriage and gay-themed textbooks in public schools, objected to the display.
The group posted pictures on its Web site and scores of its supporters complained to Macy’s by phone and e-mail. A picture published in the Boston Herald showed one of the mannequins wearing a "gay pride" flag wrapped around its waist like a skirt.
Elina Kazan, a Macy’s spokeswoman, initially said the store decided to remove the mannequins but leave the list of pride week events in order to strike a balance. She later issued a statement saying the original window display was altered as a result of a "miscommunication."
"At this point, unfortunately, the window is going to stand as is," she said. "What has transpired has transpired."
In a letter to Macy’s parent company, Marc Solomon, campaign director at MassEquality, a local coalition of gay-marriage rights advocates, urged the department store to put its original display up as a symbolic display of support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.
"We believe in diversity, and our customers are very important to us," Kazan said. "But (the display) did offend a few of our customers, and we had to re-examine it."
ACLU of Massachusetts spokeswoman Sarah Wunsch criticized Macy’s for "succumbing to the bigotry" of what she said was a fringe anti-gay group.