Faced with Protest, WeHo Council Will Rethink Removing Rainbow Flag from City Hall

city of west hollywood logo
Rainbow-colored version of West Hollywood logo
The West Hollywood City Council acted to calm a major storm over the removal from City Hall of the rainbow flag, a symbol of LGBT rights, by agreeing to reconsider the policy that led to that removal.

During a portion of the council meeting at which council members make comments, four of the five Council members tonight said the policy should be reconsidered. The flag was placed on City Hall in June, Gay Pride month, after an appeal by local activist Larry Block. It was removed on Jan. 8.

The removal came after the Council in November adopted a policy that put the decision about flying “unofficial” flags — not US, California or City of West Hollywood  — in the hands of  City Manager Paul Arevalo. Councilmember John Duran argued that the city shouldn’t favor the rainbow flag to the exclusion of unofficial flags representing other groups.

The flag’s removal sparked a flurry of complaints from gay people and their supporters prompting stories locally in the Los Angeles Times and on local television stations and in gay media around the world. Some critics of the decision cited West Hollywood’s reputation as a gay haven, noting that 40 percent of the city’s population is comprised of gay men and that it was founded, in part, to ensure LGBT rights.

Councilmember John D’Amico cited the uproar in supporting a reconsideration of the policy. “When [the flag] was up, no one contacted me, but when it came down, they certainly did,” he said. “The flag is very political, but we can use that.”

“All of us were not intending to slight the LGBT community [by removing the flag],” said Councilmember John Heilman.

Duran was the only council member who did not address the issue during the council meeting, at which dozens of people in the audiences were waving small rainbow flags supplied by Block, who is a candidate in the 2015 City Council race.

Several residents spoke in favor of restoring the flag to City Hall. One, Rudolf Martin, who is heterosexual, made a point of saying he did not feel excluded by the rainbow flag.

Another, Lee Walkup, suggested the city incorporate the rainbow flog colors into the official city flag, which consists of a map of the city composed of white squares against a blue background. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department uses a version of that city logo on its cars in West Hollywood that replace the white squares with rainbow flag colors.

Councilmember Jeffrey Prang liked that idea, saying it was something that could be done quickly.

It isn’t clear if or when the rainbow flag will be restored to City Hall before the council officially reconsiders the policy, which could be in late February or early March.

Block said he was pleased by the council’s decision to reconsider the flag. “Our pride should not be delegated to the city manager,” he said.


newest oldest
Notify of
Bobcat
Guest

Let’s get a straight flag a Jewish flag Brit and Russian lets get a flag for every foreigner in weho for gods sake this is a city that includes all ,,it’s so tiered just to say woope I live in a gayyyyuu city get a life grow up ,,,,,,oh and a stone wall flag , stop being crazy PS I am a gay man but I don’t have to shout it from the highest hill

jimmypalmieri
Guest

I for one have never had an abortion.

Rudolf Martin
Guest
Rudolf Martin

rocky5460, the abortion rate in the LGBT community is relatively low. you sound confused.

Marco Colantonio
Guest
Marco Colantonio

It is a very emotional symbol, sacrosanct to the LGBT community and although I am sad to see it become a political issue, I would wholeheartedly support the movement to incorporate the rainbow flag into the flag of West Hollywood. Then it would be truly inclusive and it’s the perfect message of solidarity for West Hollywood to send to the athletes going to Sochi and to the world! I’m totally on board with that!

rocky5460
Guest

These choices which West Hollywood City Hall believes are positive and forward thinking, which reach into the LGBT rights, are putting down other’s rights who live in the community, as well.. This is not hate, these are lifestyle decisions that are against God and His Word. Will you also raise a Christian flag and a Muslim flag, or a Catholic flag along side the Rainbow flag? I don’t think so. To those of you who want to practice LGBT rights and abortion, the killing of unborn babies, we have all given free choice when Adam & Eve sinned in the… Read more »

Manny
Guest
Manny

Im glad that flags don’t mean that much to me. But I do know that I am embedded in the fabric of the flag of the city I live in. Along with all my neighbors.

I chose inclusion rather than separatism.

Larry Block
Guest

Thanks to everybody for your love, hugs, letters of support and friendship. The City Council forgot who we are.. they lost touch, but all of us reminded them we are ONE CITY ONE PRIDE…and we always were until duran divided us 60/40 Rudolph thanks for being one of the 60%, who stepped forward and appreciated the community we live in. Thank You Nir Zilberman for your passionate presentation of gays being oppressed around the world. Thank you A Lee Walkup for your ideas and bringing us all together. Thank You to the man who took me lunch and told me… Read more »

Joy Lachman
Guest
Joy Lachman

Thank You Rudolph Martin for supporting the gay community and backing up Larry Blocks
passionate concerns. I think you speak up for what could be thought of as “the silent
majority” in this Great City which is inclusive of all !