GREENWICH, CT — There was a joyous mood outside Greenwich Town Hall on Sunday afternoon, as the town held a celebration to kick off Pride month.

By Monday afternoon, however, officials were condemning anti-LGBTQ signs that were placed near the town hall flagpole and the Pride flag.

According to the Greenwich Police Department, several signs with the word “Groomers” and an arrow pointing to the Pride flag were placed outside town hall, likely during the overnight hours.

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Deputy Police Chief Mark Zuccerella said town hall employees contacted the department Monday morning to report the signs. The GPD’s Community Impact Section is looking into the matter to see if a crime was committed, Zuccerella said.

The Board of Selectmen, comprised of First Selectman Fred Camillo, Selectwoman Lauren Rabin and Selectperson Janet Stone McGuigan, said in a joint statement Monday afternoon that they are “appalled” by the signs. They called on political town committees and independent groups, like Greenwich Patriots and Greenwich Voices for Democracy, to condemn the signs.

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“The signs appeared as a reaction to Sunday’s Pride Day celebration and flag raising and were placed on Town property by people unwilling to identify themselves,” the selectmen said. “The Pride event was organized by fellow Greenwich residents promoting an inclusive community, one that does not stand for hate and bigotry against anyone or any group. We stand together as a Town with our LGBTQ+ community and we condemn hate speech in all its forms. It has no place in Greenwich… As was mentioned [Sunday], it is a lot easier to love than hate, and to hug rather than attack. Tolerance, acceptance, and freedom is the Greenwich we all know and love, not the display we saw outside Town Hall [Monday].”

Greenwich’s delegation to Hartford issued a joint statement.

“We had such a wonderful time celebrating the LGBTQ+ community,” said state Reps. Rachel Khanna (D-149), Stephen Meskers (D-150), and Hector Arzeno (D-151), and state Sen. Ryan Fazio (R-36). “We’re shocked and saddened by this despicable act.”

The legislators also called on local leaders and political town committees “to condemn this act of hatred and to reaffirm their commitment to inclusivity in the town that we love and proudly represent in Hartford.”

“We will not tolerate these acts of bigotry and hate speech against any person or group of people. We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and will not allow the rights of members of this community to be compromised. Words matter; they make a difference and not always for the better,” the legislators added.

Sunday’s Pride event featured a proclamation from Camillo, a ceremonial flag-raising, ice cream and family-friendly activities.

Organizer Allison Kahn in an emailed statement to Patch highlighted the “incredible” turnout at the event, which saw several hundred people from all sides of the aisle and different backgrounds celebrating diversity, inclusion and acceptance.

“We’re dismayed by the actions of one or a small few to peddle disinformation with the aim of hurting our LGBTQ children, families and neighbors, but it doesn’t in any way interrupt the large showing of support and love that was felt [Sunday] and every day,” Kahn said. “As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ Greenwich showed all the love and light [Sunday]; there was no room for hate.”

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