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California Town Bans Flying Pride Flag Outside City Hall

The city council in Redlands, California, has banned flying a Pride flag outside city hall.

With a 3-2 vote, council members decided in May that flying the flag violated the town’s flag policies.

“To roll this back, especially after flying it for the past two years, sends a horrifying message to the community,” one woman argued during a contentious council meeting, according to a report from KTLA.

The rule members cited prohibits flying any non-official flag outside the government building. Under the City’s Flag Display Policy, only the national, state, local, and POW/MIA flags may be flown.

The vote came after a debate about changing the flag policy.

During the meeting before the vote, “comments included a variation on the sentiment of ‘Sexual preference has no business in the displays of city and state.’ Other were a bit more harsh stating opposition such comments such as ‘No flag that represents sex with minors, or any other political flag should be flown along side the US and State flag,'” according to a report from the Los Angeles Blade.

“It’s amazing. The people who claim that they’re being discriminated … accuse us of being a bigot if we don’t go along with something. Shame on you,” Mayor Pro Tem Paul Barich argued while voting against flying the flag, according to the report.

Redlands Mayor Eddie Tejeda defended the decision, and his vote, while being met with chants of “coward” from activists in favor of hanging the Pride flag.

“It is my opinion that if we adopt changes to our flag policy, that we do so at our own risk … In this case, it will demonstrate favor of one group over others,” Tejeda said. “For these reasons, I will change my vote and not support changing our flag policy.”

Councilwoman Denise Davis, who identifies as “queer,” blasted the decision.

“I think that those visual cues of inclusion are really important to a community that has been historically marginalized,” Davis told KTLA.

Redlands leans Democratic but is a purple town in the deeply blue state.

“Across all types of political contests in Redlands, including state, local and presidential elections, races come within five percentage points 50% of the time,” according to statistics on Best Neighborhood.

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