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LGBTQ+ community raise their own Pride flag before delivering strong statement to Carlsbad City Council

Members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community took it upon themselves to raise a temporary Pride flag outside of Carlsbad city hall Tuesday afternoon.

The demonstration came after the Carlsbad City Council voted down a motion to fly any commemorative flags at the city’s buildings last month.

“This really hurt us. We also want to see the conversation changing. We are sick and tired of our elected officials comparing our struggle for human civil rights with Pet Flag Day," said Max Disposti, the executive director of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center.


He said the city’s reason — that allowing one flag could bring a flood of other flag requests — was a poor excuse.

"Lets have a Juneteenth flag. Why not? Let's have a Latino Historical Heritage flag day. Why not? The problem with the majority council is they are afraid of diversity," Disposti said. "Because then, they may have to reject those flags that ... may represent ideology that has nothing to do with the protections of human rights."

Following the flag raising, the group flooded the city chambers, where Disposti was set to receive Carlsbad’s Pride month proclamation. But instead, he delivered a strong message.

"Today's Pride proclamation, that we have also fought for, and that was never given spontaneously or free from controversy, feels like an empty promise," Disposti told the council. "For this very reason, we reject the proclamation and send it back to this council with a promise to come back when the city will address our human rights with the dignity and respect we all deserve."

Along with the rejection of the proclamation, the North County LGBTQ Resource Center declared the city of Carlsbad to be unsafe for the LGBTQ+ community.

Members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community fill the Carlsbad city chamber during a council meeting. June 6, 2023<br/><br/><br/>
Members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community fill the Carlsbad city chamber during a council meeting. June 6, 2023

"Queer lives matter. We appreciate your intent but we are leaving now and do not accept your proclamation," Disposti said as the group emptied the room, leaving only a handful of people in the city chambers.

Mayor Pro Tem Priya Bhat-Patel presented the proclamation, but said she understands and supports the rejection.

"Across the country, people are ... under attack. Our job is to protect, our job is to serve and make sure that everyone feels supported. And right now I can tell you 100% that the LGBTQIA+ community does not feel supported," Bhat-Patel said.

The Carlsbad City Council is planning to discuss raising the Pride flag again next week.