Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images
A gay man holds the gay and lesbian flag with the US flag during a demonstration in West Hollywood, California, May 15, 2008, after the decision by the California Supreme Court to effectively greenlight same-sex marriage.
The City of West Hollywood is reconsidering whether City Hall should fly the rainbow flag.
The flag was first raised in June, after a WeHo resident and business owner proposed it at a City Council meeting. But this month, the flag was unceremoniously taken down by city officials, prompting outcry and the move to rethink the removal.
Some 40 percent of residents in WeHo are gay. Proponents say given the city’s sizable LGBT population, it makes sense for City Hall to fly the rainbow flag, a symbol of solidarity and pride of the community. But critics say that WeHo already sports numerous displays of LGBT empowerment, including the rainbow crosswalks, and the city should also be inclusive of its non-LGBT community members.
UPDATE: In response to the concerns of some community members about the rainbow flag no longer being displayed atop the City Hall building, the City Council at its meeting on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, briefly discussed the issue. There was a decision at that meeting to add an agenda item to a future City Council meeting to revisit the discussion and weigh the issue. The next City Council meeting is on Monday, February 3, 2014
WEST HOLLYWOOD STATEMENT:
“At its November 18, 2013 meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to affirm the practice of displaying only the official flags of the United States, the State of California, and the City of West Hollywood on public facilities and to fly the flags at half-mast in recognition of a tragedy or someone’s death.
The decision also affirmed the policy of displaying unofficial flags on public property and public facilities for special occasions such as the month of November for Transgender Awareness Month and June for Gay Pride month. However, the rainbow flags will continue to fly permanently on flagpoles in the medians along Santa Monica Boulevard between Robertson and La Cienega Boulevards.”
John Duran, City of West Hollywood councilmember
Tom Demille, Past WeHo city council candidate and a community organizer