Huntington Beach

Rainbow flag ban approved

TONY STRICKLAND, Huntington Beach mayor on the day he was installed. On Tuesday night he was part of the city council majority that approved a new flag policy (Orange County Tribune photo by Huw Pickering).

By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

After three hours of divided – and at some times, emotional – public comments, the Huntington Beach City Council on Tuesday night did what it was widely expected to do: it voted 4-3 in favor of introducing an ordinance that essentially banned the display of the rainbow “gay pride” flag on city property.

Before the council was a proposal that will – if approved on a second reading at the next meeting – limit the flying of flags at  City Hall and other municipal properties including the city’s iconic pier of any flags other than government flags, as well as the POW/MIA banner.

Just as on Feb. 7, those supporting the ban were Mayor Tony Strickland, Vice Mayor Gracey Van Der Mark and Councilmembers Pat Burns and Casey McKeon. Opposed were Councilmembers Rhonda Bolton, Dan Kalmick and Natalie Moser.

The public comments ranged from the sincere to the angry to the theatrical. One supporter of the ban lifted a rainbow flag, tore it in half and stomped on it. An opponent led compatriots in the packed council chamber in a chant of “We stand in support of the pride flag.”

Thirty-four speakers opposed the proposal and 24 were in support. The city clerk said that e-mails on the matter ran 390 against the ban and 323 in favor.

When it came time for the council to take a vote, Kalmick called the proposed ordinance “cowardly” and “a bad example of public policy rife with mistakes” and told the council “There’s an economic cost to this.”

To the argument that the proposed action excluded the LGBTQ community, McKeon said that the U.S. national flag “is by definition, inclusive of everyone.” In reference to a decision by the Blue Shield Foundation to cancel meetings in Huntington Beach because of the proposed policy, he said, ‘“Why is Blue Shield trying to blackmail us?” and suggested the city might consider a change in the medical plans offered to city employees.

The final vote was taken at 11:03 p.m.

5 replies »

  1. Another distortion of the actual situation by the media.The flag ordinance simply eliminates factional flags championed by special interest groups. The homosexual community claims to preach tolerance and inclusion, but they have absolutely no tolerance for viewpoints that do not reflect their own. Would they approve of a “White heterosexual flag” to be flown for a month at City Hall? We all know the answer. The left promotes factionalism and victimhood as means to divide and conquer. This ordinance just puts a stop to this agenda.

    • I agree that the American flag represents all. Without a label. Straight people don’t need a flag to represent thier choice of living. Why do gay people need one. Hetero or gay, Trans, bi, whatever lifestyle you choose so be it. I’m just not quite sure why the need to feel excepted in an almost force able way has become such an issue. So I guess I’m a homophobic if I choose not to fly a rainbow. That’s stupid, incorrect, childish, selfish, and hypocritical.
      Heterosexual do not demand the need to fly a flag because we need to know that we’re welcome. Who cares. Be who you wanna be. Quit demanding society must bow down to your every wish. At the end of the day we’re all humans. Man or female. Quit your bitching and enjoy life.

  2. POW/MIA is a special interest group too. S, by your own “logic” that is not what the ordinance does. Exclude all flags, or you and our new mayor too cowardly to do that?

  3. My comment is that there is hope for the City of Huntington Beach after all. I was furious when I saw that Gay Pride flag up above City Hall. It does NOT represent the approval of the majority of the residents of this city, in my estimation. It’s time for us to push back against the constant attempt of LGBTQ to “normalize” their ideology and to roll over our beliefs.
    If such individuals wish to fly their flag on their own property, so be it. But don’t imply that all others agree.

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