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Michigan City Bans Pride Flags on Public Property

Hamtramck, Michigan, has banned Pride flags from being displayed on public property.

The city, which is just outside Detroit, made the decision after a rowdy city meeting on Tuesday.

The City Council voted to prohibit the flags with a unanimous vote. All members, including the town’s mayor, are Muslim — and so is roughly half the town’s population.

“You guys are welcome,” council member Nayeem Choudhury said, according to a report from The Hill. “(But) why do you have to have the flag shown on government property to be represented?”

“You’re already represented,” Choudhury continued. “We already know who you are.”

Choudhury added that, “We want to respect the religious rights of our citizens.”

Councilman Mohammed Hassan argued that the vote represents the position of the majority of the city.

“Please don’t threaten us … I’m the elected official … I’m working for the people, what the majority of the people like,” Hassan said.

The Hill reports, “The city, as a result of the vote, will only allow flags of the nations that represent the city’s immigrant heritage and the flag of Michigan to be flown. The city’s previous mayor flew the Pride flag from City Hall in 2021, causing a controversy in the community and making it a campaign issue for the newly-elected Mayor Amer Ghalib.”

Ghalib had promised to “serve everybody equally with no discrimination but without favoritism.”

According to a report from the Associated Press, “Dawud Walid, director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights advocacy group, said Hamtramck’s strict flag policy doesn’t discriminate against anyone.”

“If there was one group that was not being granted access to something while others were then we would have a problem,” Walid said.

Walid argued that the Muslim position on the Pride flag is no different than many other conservative religions.

“Flags carry symbolism. Those symbols carry social and political messages,” Walid said.

Residents can still display the flags on their own property, if they chose to do so.

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