Huntington Beach, California Bans Pride Flags

Huntington Beach, California Bans Pride Flags

The city of Huntington Beach, California has voted to ban LGBTQ+ Pride flags and other nongovernmental banners from city property. The decision was made by a vote which favored the ban by 58%. The ban is being referred to as Measure B, which not only bans displays of Pride flags, but also breast cancer awareness and religious flags, among others.

Huntington Beach City Council Member Rhonda Bolton, opposed the vote and told NBC, “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.” 

Huntington Beach’s City Council is notoriously conservative. Though the ban does not specifically refer to Pride flags, city residents and LGBTQ+ activists have speculated it is just a veiled attack on the queer community. Just last year, the council approved an ordinance that would undo the previous council’s vote to fly the rainbow flag on city buildings during Pride Month in June, according to NBC. 

A council member opposing the vote, Dan Kalmick, told The LA Times, “They flat-out said this is not about banning the Pride flag. They’re full of s–. Of course it’s about the Pride flag.” Kalmick recalled numerous council meetings where those attending showed up to specifically speak against the Pride flag.

“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,” said LGBTQ Center Orane County executive director, Peg Coley. 

The Orange County Registrar shows that only 23% of the city’s registered voters headed to the polls recently, making the decision a lopsided representation of the city’s population. “The pendulum always swings back and history is the harshest judge,” said Coley. “But informed votes are the very best prevention.”

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