City Council Votes Down Flying of Pride Flag

City Council Votes Down Flying of Pride Flag
Photo by Valery Tenevoy / Unsplash

Council members strike down pride flag request

The Redlands City Council meeting on Tuesday saw a heated debate over the city's decision to fly the Rainbow Pride Flag on the city flagpole during Pride Month.

The council members ultimately voted against the resolution, with Mayor Eddie Tejeda, Mayor Pro Tempore Paul Barich, and Councilman Mario Saucedo voting against it, while Councilwoman Denise Davis and Jenna Guzman-Lowery voted in favor.

The decision to fly or not fly the rainbow flag during Pride Month has been a contentious issue in Redlands. The LGBTQIA community has been calling for the city to fly the flag in June, celebrating LGBTQIA voices, culture, and rights.

The resolution was not only considering the Pride Flag but also considering the revision of its city speech policy.

Concern over Speech Policy

Initially introduced at the March 21 council meeting, the “Flag Display Policy” would have altered government property from a “nonpublic forum” to a tier of less restriction, a “limited public forum.” The new designation would open the government property for expressive activity under certain conditions and restrictions.

The controversy arose when the policy's language was realized to be an expression of the city’s official sentiments. During councilmember comments, Guzman-Lowery said, “To take a step back from the decisions already made would be a disservice to our community,” referencing the two previous years in which the Pride Flag indeed was raised by the city.

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Representing one group isn't inclusivity

The recent decision by the Redlands City Council to not fly the Pride Flag during Pride Month has garnered a lot of attention and controversy. Many supporters of the flag claim that it represents inclusivity and equality, but the truth is that it is a political symbol that has no place on government property.

Davis, a member of the council, claimed that the city's strategic plan now has equity and inclusion, which aligns with the values of the Pride Flag. However, the reality is that this flag only represents one particular group and excludes others. True inclusivity means treating everyone equally and not promoting the agenda of one particular group over others.

Many supporters of the flag argued that it is not a political symbol, but this is simply not true. The flag has been co-opted by political activists and is now seen as a symbol of the far-left progressive movement. It has become a divisive symbol that is used to push a political agenda, rather than to promote true inclusivity and equality.

Mayor Tejeda stands strong

The decision by Mayor Tejeda to vote against the resolution was the right one. As a civil servant, he understands the importance of remaining unbiased and not promoting any particular political agenda.

He expressed concerns about the potential negative impact on the nonpartisan stance of the local government, which is an important consideration when making decisions that affect the entire community.

The LGBTQIA community may be disappointed by this decision, but the truth is that the Pride Flag is a political symbol that has no place on government property. True inclusivity means treating everyone equally and not promoting one particular group over others.

The decision by the Redlands City Council to not fly the Pride Flag during Pride Month is a step towards true inclusivity and equality for all members of the community.

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