The Voice of OC’s Adam Elmarek’s story on the Anaheim Gay Pride flag issue, agendized by Anaheim Council member Jordan Brandman and passed on a 4-0 vote, is an excellent example of fair reporting. It’s too bad other progressives can’t give credit where it’s due.
From Adam’s story:
In a show of solidarity with the victims of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando earlier this month, the Anaheim City Council Tuesday night decided to fly the rainbow-colored LGBT flag at City Hall for the remainder of the month.
And from now on, according to the proposal by Councilman Jordan Brandman that the council passed unanimously, it will be raised starting every May 22, which is Harvey Milk Day, through the end of every June, which is LGBT Pride Month. It will fly along with the flag bearing the city seal.
Most of those in the nightclub were LGBT and Latino, and the shootings have become a painful reminder that, despite the recent progress made for LGBT rights, homophobia remains a powerful and even lethal force.
Flying the rainbow-colored flag is seen by advocates as a direct way to combat homophobia. Brandman read a letter from Laura Kanter, a policy, advocacy and youth director at the LGBT Center OC, who put some of the blame for the shootings on political and religious leaders who demonize LGBT people.
“Orlando was a grotesque reminder of the venom we experience on a smaller scale over and over again, and a reminder of that venom’s power,” Brandman said, reading aloud from Kanter’s letter. “I know that positive change can come from this, and I want to be excited and supportive…. but I am having a hard time not feeling cynical when political will is generated by tragic events.”
Other members of the LGBT community and their supporters also spoke out in favor of the move. Platinum Triangle resident and Brandman ally D.R. Heywood said that, when he was a teenager in the 1980s, he was told being gay would lead to eternal damnation.
Heywood said he felt he had no future until he read an article in the Orange County Register about a few gay men who were out of the closet, and he realized that he wasn’t alone or an “aberration.”
“The flying of the pride flag at city hall, if it can provide hope and support for just one person, then this will all have been worth it,” Heywood said.
Our “progressive”pals at the Orange Juice blog, the one’s who worship at the alter of Conservative Mayor Tom Tait daily, were not so fast. Greg Diamond published a lengthy diatribe about Brandman politicizing tragedy (will he write that Dr. Jose Moreno will politicize a tragedy in the wake of the next gang shooting in Anaheim? We’ll see). My friends at the meeting tell me Diamond had some sort of mini meltdown over this issue, but I haven’t had the chance to follow up. Vern Nelson suggested in a comment that Tait and Vanderbilt were reluctant to support Brandman’s motion and Tait struggled with the issue before voting yes. Nelson wrote this after the meeting:
And it’s Tait vote, not Brandman’s motion, that earned the praise from leading OC LGBTQ activist Jeff LeTourneau in this comment to the Voice of OC story: