You might think the city of Dublin, California, would be pretty inclusive in regard to LGBTQ issues being just 35 miles east of San Francisco.
But at a City Council meeting Tuesday night, a request for flying the LGBTQ rainbow flag at City Hall for Pride month was voted down, according to local Fox affiliate KTVU.
Shawn Kumagi, the first openly gay member of the city council, filed the request for flying the flag as well as issuing a proclamation for Pride month.
The proclamation was unanimously approved by the five-member panel, but the response from some citizens about the rainbow flag surprised many.
One resident attending the council meeting asked, “If you agree to fly the rainbow flag, can we fly the Confederate flag, the Black Lives Matter flag, a Communist flag?”
Another Dublinite, Mike Grant, owns the Guns Unlimited firearms store in town. He brought his NRA flag to the meeting insisting if the rainbow flag gets time at City Hall, so should his flag.
“I’ve been discriminated against for 41 years as a federal firearms dealer by the Democrats,” said Grant. “They don’t like guns. I’m in the same group as they are.”
One resident opposed the idea because they said they had heard of plans to add a “P” – for ‘pedophile’ – to the LGBTQ acronym. And another objected since LGBTQ doesn’t have an “S” for ‘straight.’
Jeannine Sullivan, a member of the local LGBTQ community for 20 years in Dublin, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “It was ridiculous and unfounded, but it still shows what is being perpetuated by some people in our community.”
And Dublin resident Maria Ceremello said she felt “angry” about the comments.
“I came out of there steaming, swearing,” she told KTVU. “It’s unreal people are against this when it’s just a flag flying for a month. It’s not right.”
Kumagi amended his request to flying the rainbow flag for just one day, but even that was voted down.
The council ultimately decided the public flagpole should be reserved for federal, state and city flags only.
“Of course I find it disappointing,” said Kumagi. “But I think it is a testament that, even in the Bay Area, we still need to have this conversation.”
Pride supporters are reportedly organizing a grassroots campaign via social media to encourage citizens fly their own rainbow flags at their homes for Pride month.