With Pride Month in full swing, many are taking this opportunity to fly rainbow flags and show their pride or their support for the LGBTQ+ community. But sometimes homeowners associations have strict rules on how people deck out their homes. In fact, some neighborhoods outright ban Pride flags.
Such was the case for Memo Fachino and his husband, Lance Mier, of Racine, Wisconsin. After tense times over the past months, when some homeowners had flown Black Lives Matter, Thin Blue Line and other opinion flags, their HOA decided to crack down on political flags, banning all but the classic red, white and blue American flag. Fachino, who happens to be on the HOA board, said that the day after the HOA made their decision, someone had reported his Pride flag, which had flown in front of their home for years.
“There are some other flags still flying around the neighborhood that have not come down mainly because nobody reported them,” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “For whatever reason, one neighbor just happened to report mine. I don’t know the reason for it and didn’t go around reporting everyone else. We also didn’t try to make a huge statement (against the association).”
Fahino and Mier obeyed the new rule, but they weren’t going to let their pride be snuffed out quite so easily. After carefully examining the HOA rules, they realized that there were not any guidelines about what color lighting they could use on the outside of their home.
“Looking through our new rules, we noticed that removable lights are permitted without restriction so… we bought 6 colored flood lights, and we washed our house in pride colors,” Fachino posted on Reddit.
Now every night at dusk, their Pride shines far and wide across the neighborhood! Check out the photo he posted:
The move was a success, and it wasn’t long before their story went viral, with news outlets across the country picking up the story. But Fachino was quick to say that he still has love for his community and wasn’t trying to start a neighborhood battle.
“We’re not trying to stick it to anyone,” Fachino wrote on Reddit. “We don’t feel targeted or attacked in our community. It was just a fun way for us to show our individuality and support in a way that didn’t break any HOA rules.”
Fachino continues to sit on his neighborhood board and says people in his community have offered their support and praise for his clever workaround.
“The neighbors I’ve heard back from have been supportive,” Fachino told the Journal Sentinel. “I didn’t share it on the neighborhood app or try to make a big point that everyone should know about it. I just thought it was a funny loophole, and it just kind of took off from there.”