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Richmond city employees unhappy with Gay Pride flag

June 23, 2013 11:51:13 AM PDT
The Gay Pride flag is flying over Richmond City Hall, since being raised last week. It's the first time that city has ever marked Pride Month. But not everyone is happy about it.

The rainbow flag has been flying over Civic Plaza in Richmond since Thursday. It's a detail some regular visitors didn't even notice.

"I don't even realistically know how long they've had that flag up and I come down here and read every night," Richmond resident Kevin Odell said

But when the flag went up and an email went out to all 900 Richmond city employees, some didn't appreciate the colors flying.

According to the Contra Costa Times, employee Antoinette Jordan replied to the email, writing, "Waving the gay pride flag in the city of Richmond is inappropriate. Richmond is not 'the Castro.' This is offensive to Richmond's faith-based community. The USA flag is the 'freedom flag.'"

Linda Cisneros wrote, "I have never seen a flag displayed for Native American heritage month or Hispanic American heritage month or Irish American month. Didn't they struggle too?"

City Councilmember Jim Rogers says other minority groups are also regularly celebrated.

"No more controversy than Juneteenth or a Cinco de Mayo parade," he said. "You know America is strong because of diversity not despite of it."

The decision to fly the flag was made by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin.

The Gay Pride flag has been flying on Richmond Civic Plaza for the last few days, and the Mayor has said that it's going to continue flying for the rest of the month.

Residents we talked to didn't mind the rainbow colors.

"I don't think it's that big of a deal," Odell said.

Fellow Richmond resident Cheryl Lane added, "I think it's great up. It just respects a facet of our community."

They also said they respect city employees who oppose the rainbow flag flying because everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


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