Huntington Beach

“Pride” flag is coming down

THE RAINBOW flag (Wikipedia).

By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

After hours of public comment and some emotional words on the dais, the Huntington Beach City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday night to approve a new flag policy that will remove the rainbow LGBTQ “pride” flag from display on city property.

Voting in favor of the measure, which will direct the city manager and city attorney to specify the display of flags, were Mayor Tony Strickland, Mayor Pro Tem Gracey Van Der Mark and Councilmembers Pat Burns and Casey McKeon. Opposed were Councilmembers Rhonda Bolton, Dan Kalmick and Natalie Moser.

Recently, the rainbow flag was flown during the “Pride” month of June.

As proposed by Burns, the new policy would limit flag displays at city facilities to the national American flag, POW/MIA, state, city, county and the six U.S. military branch flags.

“It’s not about getting rid of the ‘pride’ flag,” said Burns, insisting that under the Stars and Stripes, “we are all equal” and the city “shouldn’t fly flags that divide” people.

But the council minority and most of the people who spoke under public comments on the subject felt that the flag policy change was intended to remove that flag.

“What message does it send?” asked Moser. “A petty and unsavory message.”

Speakers during public comments argued that the flag demonstrated Huntington Beach’s acceptance of sexual minorities and would help refute the image of intolerance that some see in Surf City.

Some spoke in favor of the change, arguing that the “pride” flag was showing favor to a special group and without a specific list of approved banners it might be possible to display flags of a wide variety of objectionable causes.

Also on Tuesday night, the council:

  • approved on a 7-0 vote a plan to reduce business-related crime by hiring two more police officers, approve overtime for more patrols and buy five “public safety cameras”;
  • rejected on a 4-3 vote a proposal by Moser to reinstate remote citizen participation at public meetings;
  • adopted on a 4-3 vote an ordinance prohibiting the use of anonymous complaints in code enforcement.

6 replies »

  1. The division was sewn by homophobia and hate. All four new council members are engaging in double-speak with this decision; the motion was passed with a wink and a nod. We are “limiting flag displays to only government flag displays” but it’s literally affecting Getting frustrated at these kangaroo court hearings where political decisions are made in back rooms. How did we allow a whole council majority to work together to win an election? They’re going to strong arm anyone in their way. That’s not democracy, this is fascism.

  2. Thank goodness they are taking it down! Us heterosexuals were hours away from designing OUR own flag!…ENOUGH ALREADY WE get it! Can’t everyone just be themselves and NOT DEMAND more attention than others?!!! It’s getting real old! Our American & City flags are PROPER displays & quite enough!

  3. I’m a straight 49 year old who believes that the rainbow is every race out there together joining us together as one it does not discriminate against one or the other and why since how in the heck did a rainbow become to be the game lesbian flag or colors this is ridiculous you know that’s wrong okay we should all be blind because if we were then what would I be to you answer that question let me really hear you the answer and I will tell you my opinion on my but I say it is the answer I hope all you can get it right if not then that is very wrong

  4. “It’s not about getting rid of the ‘pride’ flag,” said Burns, insisting that under the Stars and Stripes, “we are all equal” and the city “shouldn’t fly flags that divide” people.

    Last I checked… that government and legal system dehumanized, institutionalized, and imprisoned queers right?

    So history proves we arn’t equal under that flag, and people who are sensitive and feel “excluded” because not everyone else’s life revolves around them; grow up.

    We have differences, and if you want a social monolith instead go try the klan. If your idea of america collapses because queers exist, clearly your idea of america never was free or equal.

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