Earlier this month, Irvine Councilmember Melissa Fox put forward a resolution to fly the Pride Flag during June, which is also Pride Month (click here to read her memo to the rest of the City Council on this). The cities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, and Laguna Beach already fly the Pride Flag at their respective city halls during Pride Month.
“June holds historic significance for the LGBT community,” Fox wrote on her blog on June 10. “In 1969, the Stonewall Riots occurred in the New York City as a protest against the police department’s unfair targeting of the LGBT community. The Stonewall Riots led to political organizing that is considered to be the beginning of the modern LGBT civil rights movement. The following year, the first LGBT Pride Parade was held in New York City on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Today, California has the largest LGBT population in the nation and is home to over forty LGBT Pride celebrations.”
But on June 11, the Irvine City Council voted down Fox’s proposal. Instead, they approved an utterly meaningless substitute motion that authorized councilmembers to fly flags of their choosing in their own offices. Even worse, Councilmember Michael Carroll accused Fox of trying to “divide the community” with her resolution. It’s no wonder Fox–who noted during the meeting that LGBT people around the world face violence for who they choose to love–called the vote a “circus.”
For the last week, activists have been flying the Pride Flag at Irvine City Hall on their own. Tonight will be their final night doing so, from 5-6 p.m., and the public is invited to take part.
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.