Voters in Huntington Beach, Calif., to weigh in on banning Pride flags on city property

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Voters successful Huntington Beach, California, will determine Tuesday whether a prohibition connected flying nan rainbow Pride emblem and different nongovernmental banners connected metropolis spot will beryllium enshrined successful its municipal charter.

Measure B successful nan seaside organization known for its large waves and yearly canine surfing title would prohibit nan show of Pride, bosom crab consciousness and belief flags successful places for illustration City Hall.

The ballot measurement builds connected an ordinance approved past twelvemonth by nan blimpish City Council majority, which undid a erstwhile assembly ballot successful favour of flying nan rainbow emblem connected metropolis buildings during Pride Month successful June.

“It’s not conscionable that they’re making a determination not to alert immoderate nongovernment flag,” said Peg Coley, nan executive head of nan LGBTQ Center Orange County. “They are unwinding an inclusive policy. They’re reversing diverseness and inclusion.”

Measure B would exempt city, region and authorities flags, arsenic good arsenic nan U.S. and equipped forces flags, from nan ban. Commemorative banners, for illustration those for POW-MIAs aliases nan Olympics, besides would beryllium allowed.

It would require a unanimous ballot by nan City Council to alert a commemorative emblem from metropolis facilities.

Critics opportunity Measure B is simply a thinly cloaked onslaught connected nan LGBTQ community, but supporters opportunity it removes divisive personality authorities from nan nationalist square.

The LGBTQ defense statement GLAAD called nan ballot measurement "extreme."

"Enshrining favoritism fuels division," Barbara Simon, a spokesperson for GLAAD, said successful an email. "We saw it flying proudly successful Huntington Beach to grant trans teen Nex Benedict past month. Pride flags show LGBTQ people, younker and our friends that they are welcome."

Benedict was a 16-year-old transgender student successful Oklahoma who died past month aft a conflict pinch 3 students successful a schoolhouse bathroom.

Huntington Beach has waded heavy into civilization wars successful caller years, banning disguise and vaccination mandates, condemning nan Biden administration’s migration policies, slamming Gov. Gavin Newsom complete nan state’s homelessness situation and establishing a sheet to reappraisal children’s room books for intersexual content.

In 2022, voters rejected nan erstwhile City Council's politically divers constitution and ushered successful 4 blimpish candidates who ballot arsenic a bloc. The 3 left-leaning members are each up for re-election this year.

Mayor Gracey Van Der Mark, who said she switched her statement affiliation from Democratic to Republican successful 2016, voted successful favour of nan emblem ordinance. She said that she is disappointment by California's wide supermajority and that this was a measurement to antagonistic nan governance coming from nan authorities capital.

"A batch of this is taking Huntington Beach backmost to really it was," she said. "A batch of cities are acrophobic to push backmost because they don’t want to beryllium nan target of Sacramento. We're not afraid."

Of nan city’s astir 138,000 registered voters, 53,894 are Republicans and 41,412 are Democrats. Nearly 28,000 are registered pinch nary statement preference.

Tony Strickland, a personnel of nan City Council’s blimpish bloc, said policies for illustration nan emblem ordinance people a return to nan city's Republican roots.

“They want to make MAGA a antagonistic connotation,” Strickland said of left-leaning critics. “But President Ronald Reagan said it first. I do want to Make America Great Again.”

City Council personnel Natalie Moser, who voted against nan ordinance, said her colleagues connected nan correct are sowing chaos and section successful nan quiet community.

"It’s further dividing nan city, our neighbors," she said.

Council personnel Dan Kalmick, who opposes Measure B, said nan blimpish members are casting a protector complete nan metropolis and hurting its pocketbook.

"As a tourer community, I want to shingle each tourer upside down by their ankles to get money retired of them," he said. "Therefore, we should beryllium unfastened and inclusive of everyone, and everyone should consciousness comfortable to travel present and walk their money."

Conservative lawmakers person been paying adjacent attraction to really Huntington Beach navigates nan civilization wars. During Pride Month past year, nan Orange County Board of Supervisors voted against flying nan rainbow emblem extracurricular region property.

The astir caller Orange County hate crimes report recovered a 126% summation successful dislike crimes against members of nan LGBTQ organization successful 2022 complete nan erstwhile year.

Alicia Victoria Lozano

Alicia Victoria Lozano is simply a California-based newsman for NBC News focusing connected ambiance change, wildfires and nan changing authorities of supplier laws.