City to fly pride flag in June


A proposal to fly the LGBT pride flag in downtown Mountain View in June received the City Council's blessing, but not without some push-back from opponents who argued it would unfairly promote a political agenda.

In a proposal brought to the City Council on May 3, Councilman Chris Clark asked his colleagues to allow the rainbow flag -- a symbol of gay pride for nearly 40 years -- to be flown outside City Hall for about two weeks in June. That month is LGBT Pride Month, and Clark also asked the council to issue a proclamation marking the event.

The idea drew a backlash from public speakers as well as Councilman John Inks. While avoiding the politics surrounding gay rights, critics argued that displaying the flag meant Mountain View was taking a stance on a political issue. If the city allowed this, then other political groups would surely want their own flags flown in the Civic Center Plaza, according to their arguments.

"What if a group wanted to celebrate heterosexual marriage and family values? Is that appropriate to put on a flagpole?" Inks said. "Why raise a flag for this? It's kind of divisive, as you heard from some speakers tonight."

The debate was nothing new for Mountain View. Similar concerns were aired in 2014, when then-mayor Clark, the city's first openly gay City Council member, made a similar proposal. At the time, the council voted 5-1 to allow the pride flag to be flown for a similar period in June.

After a lapse in 2015, Clark returned on Tuesday to ask his council colleagues to fly the flag a second time. He and other supporters argued the flag represents values the city should uphold.

"This flag symbolizes diversity and inclusivity," Clark said, pointing out his request was nothing different than what the council had approved two years earlier.

The council approved flying the pride flag in a 6-1 vote, with Inks opposed.

-Mark Noack

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22 people like this
Posted by Q&A
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 18, 2016 at 9:56 am

Q: "If Mountain View takes a stand on inclusive and progressive values, won't that mean it has to ALSO support divisive, hateful speech?"

A: No.

93 people like this
Posted by Cool
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 18, 2016 at 10:04 am

It's a show of support that says "Even if some in society would work to marginalize you, we still got your back"

34 people like this
Posted by Positivity
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 18, 2016 at 11:24 am

+1. Thanks MV

194 people like this
Posted by A rainbow flag...really?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 18, 2016 at 3:26 pm

A rainbow flag...really? is a registered user.

Equality works both ways, so, like everyone else, gays should accept the city, state and country flag as their flag.

We would expect Mountain View to be supportive of gays, but we don't need a flag on a public building to prove it.

All this really shows is that someone on the council is gay and wants to pressure the others to let him fly his rainbow flag. Thank you, John Inks, for trying to keep things in proper perspective.

16 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 18, 2016 at 11:31 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

I'm pro-LGBT, my niece is gay and I have several really close gay friends. And I love the progress society has made recently in this regard.

But we don't need to fly a flag about it, let's focus now on other issues. I'd like to see some investigative reporting on the % of LGBT vs the % of homeless, or the % of LGBT vs the % of teachers salaries being an issue.

Enough already, let's move on and focus on economic issues that affect EVEryONE as opposed to some social issues that affect a VERY small minority

8 people like this
Posted by Sarah1000
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2016 at 10:09 am

Sarah1000 is a registered user.

As the parent of a gay young adult daughter, I appreciate that she and her girlfriend and LGBTQ friends will have this visible sign that Mountain View welcomes them. Thank you.

21 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 19, 2016 at 3:20 pm

Resident is a registered user.

Hey, Sarah--

Hopefully you have a rainbow flag on your house, too. I am sure your daughter and her friends would appreciate this visible sign of welcome coming from her own family rather than the city hall.

5 people like this
Posted by Sarah1000
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2016 at 10:03 pm

Sarah1000 is a registered user.

The gift of having a child who happens to be gay is that we don't just accept her; we love her. She and her friends have a place in our hearts and in our home. However, LGBT persons are sometimes not even tolerated by their communities. In 2015, the U.S. saw a record number of LGBT homicides. (Huffington Post) Termination of an employee based on sexual orientation remains legal in 31 American States. (American Psychological Association) Most concerning for our county, (given its high rate of teen suicide) is the fact that LGB youth are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth are 3 times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers. (CDC) Flying of the flag will let all youth know that Mountain View accepts and welcomes who they are.

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