Dublin City Council Votes Not to Fly Rainbow Flag

by Neil Pople

On May 21st, 2019, the Dublin, CA City Council voted down a request to fly the rainbow flag over City Hall for this year’s Pride celebration.

Hate against our community was on full display during the Tuesday night city council meeting, as community speakers made wild (and, frankly, sickening) accusations that the gay community wanted to advocate for pedophilia and include it in the LGBTQI acronym.

The vile comments made by citizens frightened the resolve of the council, who ended up voting 3-2 against flying the pride flag for only one day.

This happened in the Bay Area. This happened in the year 2019 — in fact, it happened just this past Tuesday.

Why does this matter? Why cause a ruckus over a flag? The rainbow flag is a symbol to the gay community that shows solidarity and support. For far too long, the queer community has been told that we aren’t worthy of acceptance or recognition. Gilbert Baker created the flag after being challenged to create a unifying symbol for the community by none other than Harvey Milk. This flag represents the struggles of a community beaten, murdered, discriminated against and harassed for generations. To some, this may seem like a “small” issue, but for others, it’s an assault on dignity.

The Democratic Party has long been at the forefront of LGBTQI rights. We largely support local, statewide, and federal Democratic candidates because it is implied that they will be advocates and allies. Melissa Hernandez and Arun Goel, two of the three council members who voted against flying the flag above City Hall, are Democrats. They have been supported by Democrats in the past. They will likely seek our support in future elections. Yet they did one of two things: they either voted their consciences with discrimination in their hearts, or they caved in to pressure from a few wing-nuts in the audience during council. Neither is acceptable and we, the voters, should hold their feet to the fire. Arun’s Twitter is @ArunGoelDublin. Melissa can be reached via Facebook: @melissa4dublin.

As members of the LGBTQI community, we need to ask why Council Members Hernandez and Goel decided not to stand up for our people. We need to ask the same questions of elected officials in our own communities, and hold their feet to the fire. We need to remind people who proclaim to be “progressive” that our values matter. If we don’t, we need to take our money, energies and time and dedicate them towards those who support us and understand that a flag is more than fabric or a fashion accessory: it’s a symbol that matters very much in today’s political climate.

You can email the Dublin City Council at www.ci.dublin.ca.us/71/Mayor-City-Council

Neil Pople is a former political staffer for the CA Democratic Party and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). His previous campaign work has centered on communications and financial compliance at the federal level. He is a proud member of the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento and the Roseville Junction Democratic Club.



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