HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA — (02-08-23) — City of Huntington Beach will no longer fly the LGBTQ Pride flag over City Hall during Pride Month. In a shocking development, the City Council voted to ban the PRIDE Flag in a majority vote on Tuesday.
The vote undoes the Huntington Beach City Council’ decision less than two years ago that required the city to fly the PRIDE flag annually from the third week of May to the end of June.
The 2021 unanimous vote in favor of flying the Pride flag has been overturned by a vote of 4-3, with only “city, state and national flags”, “the county flag, flags supporting prisoners of war and each branch of the military” are permitted on some occasions.
Los Angeles LGBT Center‘ CEO Joe Hollendoner condemned the vote and said that instead of focusing on “the unhoused, gun safety or the care of our seniors,” municipal employees were working on this ordinance, a fact he called “alarming and embarrassing.”
“The Greater Los Angeles area is for everyone and yet Huntington Beach officials landed on a cliche and reductive approach to making headlines,” said Hollendoner. “Marginalizing queer Californians and potentially, millions of tourists in one fell swoop. We will not be relegated to a closeted existence as those days are long behind us, and our people will always find a way to fly our flag loud and proud,” ” Hollendoner said in a statement. “I hope the elected officials who voted in favor of the flag ban remember that representation matters, and that the LGBTQ+ community will work tirelessly to elect representatives who champion our rights. said Hollendoner.
“Only the LGBTQ flag was left out from the city’s previously approved banners”, a change that immediately prompted Councilmember Dan Kalmick to challenge his colleagues to “come out and say it” if they oppose flying the pride flag.
On Tuesday, the Pride flag seemed to have broad support among the public during the council’ “sometimes tense” public comment session on Tuesday.
According to Huntington Beach city staff, over 275 people sent letters to the city on the issue of the flag, with 228 in support of the Pride flag remaining up while 46 endorsed the shift in the flag policy.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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