Residents clashed throughout an Orange County Fair and Event Center board assembly Feb. 25 over a homosexual pleasure flag hanging on the fairgrounds.
The flag on the middle of the controversy has been on show since May 23, 2019, when the board accredited a decision to hold it as an emblem of inclusiveness.
As some condemned the symbolic gesture, others staunchly defended the flag.
Chairwoman Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia mentioned known as the Pride flag “the unifying symbol of inclusion.”
“[The Pride flag’s presence] ensured all people, regardless of race, creed sexual orientation or gender felt represented and welcomed at the fair,” Rubalcava-Garcia mentioned.
“During public comment at one of our board meetings, several people spoke against the flag. Their words were negative, cutting, and hurtful … In my eyes, that’s not okay. All of the comments related to the removal of the flag have helped to reaffirm for me at least, that the flag should continue flying year-round.”
Others, equivalent to commenter Jerri Lynn, took concern with the flag, saying it represents only a small section of Orange County’s range.
“And yet it’s been given a unique place of prominence and stature at the fairgrounds,” Lynn mentioned. “Why weren’t other flags that represent Orange County interest or other oppressed people groups considered as well?”
“This is not about the merits of any one particular flag. It’s rather about the preference that’s been given to one flag over others … the board must clarify how paying tribute to only one specific group on disregarding all the others is fair or equitable.”
Director Ashleigh Aitken mentioned the pleasure flag was initially flown within the wake of the hate-motivated killing of Blaze Bernstein, a 19-year-old who was believed to have been focused for being Jewish and gay.
Bethany Webb, whose trans-daughter was in the identical yr of faculty as Blaze Bernstein at Orange County School of the Arts, mentioned “when you fly that flag, you give confidence and integrity to people that have been maligned throughout their life.”
Many members of the general public mentioned taking the flag down can be worse than by no means having put it up.
“To me, there’s nothing more political than pulling down the flag. In fact, pulling down a flag would be far more political than keeping it up,” Yvonne Su, of Tustin, mentioned. “The pride flag is apolitical; it’s a symbol of love and acceptance.”
Director Barbara Bagneris—the one member to vote towards reaffirming the pleasure flag—took concern with the board’s refusal to fly a flag commemorating Black History Month each February.
“When you elevate one you marginalize the others,” Bagneris mentioned throughout the assembly.
“For the board to outright turn down the opportunity to fly another flag when you had already approved flying the pride flag was very hurtful to my community and to me…This flag has become a very divisive issue when it did not need to be.”
While Director Douglas La Bell thought it was essential to hold the pleasure flag flying, he mentioned: “We do have a [flag] that’s representative of all of us in the United States. It’s called the United States flag.”