Garden Grove

Once more: “Pride” flag is up

THE RAINBOW flag (Wikipedia).

In the end, everyone agreed.

Despite some wrangling – sometimes heated – about the process, the Garden Grove City Council voted 6-0 (with Councilmember Phat Bui of District 4 absent) Tuesday night to not only declare June to be LGBTQ Pride Month, but also authorize the posting of a “Pride” banner on the city’s iconic clock tower during that time.

LGBTQ is an acronym for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer.”

It was sort of a redo of the May 11 meeting when Mayor Pro Tem Kim Nguyen (District 6) made a similar request, “If there’s no objection.” No one spoke up and the city attorney’s opinion was there was no need for a formal vote.

However, some council members later objected to that process, and the matter came before the council again on Tuesday night.

Ten persons spoke during the public comments in favor of Nguyen’s proposal, some of them in strong terms. Citing high rates of suicide among gay youth because they didn’t feel accepted by society, one speaker said that if banner was not approved, “you’re killing our youth.”

Councilmember George Brietigam (District 1) criticized the procedure followed at the May 11 meeting.

“The issue, really, isn’t about the flag, I’m sure,” he said. “This issue is the policy that was followed last time. Was it legal? Probably. Is it ethical?  Definitely not. We don’t just surprise things, throw it under the rug, do things under the cover of darkness.”

Nguyen replied that Brietigam’s comments were “disingenuous,” and that in the past, some things have been approved without the formality of a vote. She said her request had transparency. “I brought it to this council. It was repeated multiple times.” She added, “If you do not support the LGBTQ community and are against putting [up]the banner, just say that. Don’t hide behind the excuse of saying something wasn’t transparent.”

But Brietigam was the council member Tuesday who made the motion – seconded by Nguyen – in favor both of Pride Month and posting a banner on the clock tower at Main and Euclid streets. Applause from the audience followed.

Also Tuesday night, the council approved an agreement worth $47,000 with Compass Demographics to study the results of the 2020 U.S. Census and determine whether any realignment of the city’s council districts would be necessary for the 2022 election.

The next meeting of the city council is scheduled for June 8.



Leave a Reply