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Laguna Beach City Council to consider waving rainbow flag for Pride Month

Gay Pride Rainbow Flag Waving in Sun against Blue Sky
Laguna Beach City Council will vote whether to fly a rainbow flag outside City Hall, in commemoration of Harvey Milk Day on May 22 and LGBTQ Pride month in June.
(Getty Images)

With LGBT Pride Month around the corner, Laguna Beach City Hall may join other Orange County cities in flying the rainbow flag.

Craig Cooley of Laguna Beach Pride 365 wants to cover the town with rainbow flags for the month of June, starting with the flagpole and parking meters outside of City Hall.

“I am requesting that the all-inclusive City of Laguna Beach celebrate and support diversity with a rainbow flag above City Hall,” Cooley wrote in an email to the City Council, adding that he also plans to ask businesses to display flags for the month.

If approved, the flags would fly from May 22, Harvey Milk Day, through the end of June.

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Councilwoman Toni Iseman said the act would continue Laguna’s legacy as “a safe haven” for the LGBTQ community.

Bob Gentry, Laguna’s first openly gay mayor who served on the City Council from 1982 to 1994, called the proposal an “exciting, strong, creative suggestion” and a “serious social statement.”

“When that rainbow flag is hoisted on the flagpole, it tells every gay and lesbian community member and their supporters ... that they are important to the fabric of the community,” Gentry said. “The symbolism is astonishing.”

The request comes just a couple of weeks after the Costa Mesa City Council voted 6-1 to fly the pride flag at its City Hall. Anaheim, Fullerton and Santa Ana also hoist the flag.

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Laguna Beach does not have a formal policy about commemorative flags, according to the staff report.

Pride 365’s pride festivities kick off in two weeks, with a series of food events and dancing, and the official Laguna Beach Pride Festival on June 1.

The City Council meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at 505 Forest Ave. A workshop to discuss the proposed two-year budget will precede the meeting at 2 p.m.

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