California Local News

Pride Flag Ban in California beach town; Residents say “It Sets a Tone”

Pride Flag Ban in California beach town; Residents say “It Sets a Tone”

It has been decided that the rainbow Pride flag and other nongovernmental banners will no longer be allowed to fly on public property in Huntington Beach, California. This community is located on the coast and has become a breeding ground for broader culture arguments.

According to the most recent figure that was supplied by the Orange County Registrar of Voters, more than 58% of residents of Orange County cast their ballots in support of Measure B.

In what is believed to be the first time that voters have explicitly evaluated what kinds of flags are flown in a city, Measure B restricts the flying of religious flags, banners that raise awareness about breast cancer, and flags that represent Pride.

The United States flag and the flags of the military forces are excluded from the ban under Measure B, which also exempts city, county, and state flags.

Commemorative banners, such as those honoring prisoners of war or people missing in action or the Olympics, would also be permitted in locations such as City Hall.

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“It sets a tone,” said Rhonda Bolton, a member of the Huntington Beach City Council who was opposed to the bill. “If people think it’s OK or it becomes normalized to display bigotry towards a particular group, then folks are going to crawl out of their rock and do bad stuff.”

The ballot initiative enshrines into the city charter an ordinance that was enacted by the conservative majority of the City Council the previous year. This ordinance undid a prior vote by the council that supported flying the rainbow flag on city buildings during Pride Month, which occurs in June.

In order to fly a commemoration flag from city facilities, the City Council will now be needed to vote unanimously on the matter.

According to Peg Coley, the executive director of the LGBTQ Center Orange County, “The Huntington Beach City Council is run by a hateful majority whose only interest is advancing an agenda of intolerance for minority communities, including LGBTQ+ individuals.”

This statement was made by the majority of the council representatives. In spite of the fact that history is the most severe judge and the pendulum always swings back, the most effective measure of prevention is educated voting.

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While some who oppose Measure B argue that it is a thinly veiled attack on the LGBTQ community, those who support it argue that it removes identity politics from the public square, which is a contentious issue.

GLAAD, an organization that advocates for LGBTQ rights, referred to the ballot item as “extreme.”

“Enshrining discrimination fuels division,” a spokesman for GLAAD wrote in an email addressed to the organization. On the previous month, we witnessed it flying with pride in Huntington Beach in honor of the transgender adolescent Nex Benedict. The display of pride flags conveys to LGBTQ individuals, young people, and our allies that they are welcome.

In recent years, Huntington Beach has become deeply involved in culture wars. The city has banned masks and mandated vaccinations, condemned the immigration policies of the Biden administration, criticized Governor Gavin Newsom for the state’s homelessness crisis, and established a panel to review children’s library books for sexual content.

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