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Huntington Beach’s New Conservative Council Bans Pride Flag On City Property

A multicolored Pride flag with seven horizontal strips of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple is seen against a deep blue sky with palm trees in the background.
The Huntington Beach City Council this week voted to restrict the flags allowed to fly on city property.
(calvinfleming via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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The rainbow Pride flag will no longer be allowed to fly on Huntington Beach city property under a new ordinance passed this week by the city council.

In 2021, the council voted 6-0 to fly the rainbow flag for six weeks each spring. On Tuesday, the council voted 4-3 Tuesday to rescind that decision and restrict flags flying on city property to those representing the government, branches of the military, and POW/MIA troops.

Newly elected councilmember Pat Burns brought the measure to reverse the practice, saying only certain flags should be flown.

“I believe actually that we are all equal and we don't need titles or anything, and that our flags that we have that represent our governments are what is important to unify us and get over this divisive titling,” he said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

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Councilmember Dan Kalmick, who authored the 2021 resolution to hoist the rainbow flag during Pride month each June, said this week’s vote sends a chilling message.

“What it actually did — which was to stop the Pride flag from being flown in in June — is something that's absolutely discouraging and frightening for our folks in the LGBTQ community that live in town and come and visit and recreate in our town,” he said.

The city council looks much different today than it did in 2021. This past November, four new councilmembers, including Burns, were elected, creating a new conservative majority on the council.

“It’s alarming and embarrassing that in 2023, on the heels of 150+ anti-LGBTQ legislations ravaging the country, this is what municipal employees are focusing on — not the unhoused, gun safety or the care of our seniors,” said Joe Hollendoner, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

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