The Cumberland Town Council voted with four in favor and three abstentions Monday to paint a rainbow crosswalk on Tuttle Road to honor Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ community in Cumberland.

Town Council Chair Mark Segrist, Vice Chair Tig Filson and Councilors Baily Douglass and Robert Vail voted in favor of the motion. Councilors Ronald Copp, Shirley Storey-King and Michael Edes abstained.

The crosswalk at the Tuttle Road-Main Street intersection was expected to be painted this week, depending on the weather, Town Manager Bill Shane said Tuesday. It will be maintained and repainted each spring at a cost of $800. The crosswalk has Maine DOT approval, Segrist said.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, residents, including faith leaders and parents of LGBTQ+ children, spoke movingly about why the Pride crosswalk is an important signal of Cumberland’s commitment to inclusivity.

Kate Rossiter, who lives with her wife and sons on Tuttle Road, said her 7-year-old is discovering that not everywhere in the world is safe for their family. This crosswalk would be a “small token of letting our son know that this is a safe place for his family,” she said.

Two students, one who attends Mabel I. Wilson and another at Greely Middle School, shared that the crosswalk “would help people feel extra included.


Allison Smith, the senior minister at the Congregational Church, said she is strongly in favor of the crosswalk, and spoke about how it took her father 50 years in order to come out as gay. “Many of us may remember how hard it was then, and know that it is not easy now, for people to simply be themselves.”

“With your vote … we can affirm that every person is welcomed and of value,” she said.

Vail said that his view of the crosswalk shifted over time. He was initially against it, but “sometimes our initial thoughts are just that,” he said.

“I’m so proud to have this on our agenda,” said Filson, who called it the “intersection of policy and kindness.”

Of the councilors who abstained, Copp and Storey-King both emphasized that Cumberland is one of the safest communities in Maine.

“I’m not anti anything. I choose to lead by example, not legislation,” said Storey-King.

“I have no interest in further polarizing our community,” she said. “There are people who still wrestle with gender identification, people who are straight and feel guilty because they can’t wrap their head around people who are not.”

Edes did not comment on the crosswalk.

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