Gay pride to be on display at Huntington Beach – Orange County Register
Huntington Beach will soon join several other Orange County towns in hoisting the LGBTQ flag at Town Hall.
Council members voted 6-0 on Monday, May 3 to fly the rainbow striped banner for nearly six weeks. The flag will be hoisted on Harvey Milk Day, May 22, and will continue to wave until the end of June – LGBTQ pride month.
The rainbow flag is a welcome symbol for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning people.
Other towns in the county that display the banner during LGBTQ month include Irvine, Santa Ana, and Anaheim. Since 2019, he has flown year round at the Orange County Fair & Event Center.
Councilor Erik Peterson did not attend the meeting on Monday. Over the past year, he has repeatedly complained that the increasingly progressive city council has tackled social justice issues, arguing that anti-hate statements are ineffective.
“I just can’t vote for something that does nothing, or just because it feels good,” Peterson said in early April of passing a statement condemning white supremacy.
On social media and at the May 3 meeting, some Huntington Beach residents agreed with this sentiment.
“I would like to implore this council to focus on the job you were elected to do, which is overseeing public safety, financial solvency and infrastructure,” said Cari Swan, who telephoned the Zoom meeting.
“People who fall into your division category deserve to be seen like everyone else in this community under one flag – the flag of the United States of America,” Swan argued. “They don’t need your pity or your polarization.”
However, most of the dozen or so speakers supported the agenda item, drafted by Mayor Kim Carr and Councilor Dan Kalmick.
Councilor Natalie Moser said much of the criticism she saw on Facebook pages about the flag suggested council members should focus on “the real work at hand.”
“We can do more than one thing at a time; we can rub our stomachs and pat our heads, ”Moser replied, adding,“ Our job is to improve public health and public safety in the community.
Carr and Moser read aloud letters they had received from transgender and gay youth. “I thought I could tell you what this flag means to me as a 12-year-old non-binary,” one child wrote. “It means you see me. And that means that I am perfect the way I am.
City Councilor Mike Posey admitted he intended to vote differently, but was influenced, in part, by those who oppose the city’s decision.
“I saw on social media that the pursuit of social justice is not our job, and I disagree,” Posey said. City council, he said, is responsible for “ensuring that our friends and neighbors have a high quality of life and part of that high quality of life is knowing that where they have moved, the welcome mat is out ”.
Earlier in the evening, Kelly Miller, president of Visit Huntington Beach, discussed the resumption of tourism in the city after the coronavirus shutdown. In her comments, Councilor Barbara Delgleize said her presentation was part of the debate over the LGBTQ flag – and the economic benefits of a total softening of Huntington Beach’s image.
“This community is tough,” Delgleize said. “It’s not an easy place if you don’t agree with someone… We have the opportunity this summer to really take it out of the park in so many ways – to fill our hotels, beaches, restaurants . It really is that kind of spirit that could make the difference. “