Split decision reached concerning Gay PRIDE month and rainbow flag

Melinda Conlon reported to Historic City News last night after the City of St Augustine Beach held a special meeting to deal with issues surrounding the recognition of the month of June as “Gay Pride Month”.

Acting on a request brought forward by Women’s March Alliance of North Florida, the Commission expressed support for the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual community and unanimously voted to pass the proclamation — with one deletion.

“I am pleased that this Commission was willing to consider a late request from the Women’s March Alliance and to meet again in support and to approve the proclamation of June as Gay Pride Month,” Mayor Margaret England commented during the June 9, 2020, meeting.  “St Augustine Beach is a welcoming, family-oriented beach town and we have shown our commitment to diversity.”

The proclamation stated in part, to declare June 2020 as PRIDE MONTH in the City of St. Augustine Beach.  The proclamation also called for the rainbow pride flag to fly as recognition of PRIDE MONTH.

At issue before the commission was how to handle a scenario where one group is given permission to fly a non-government flag while another is not.  Hypothetically, wouldn’t all requests have to be considered?  If only some groups were given permission, it could likely create a divisive environment, instead of an inclusive one.

In a split 3-2 vote, the inclusion for all Americans, the Commission decided not to approve the flying of any non-governmental flags on City property.

The next regular City Commission will be held on Monday, June 6, 2020 at 6:00 P.M. in City Hall.  The public is invited to attend and there will be limited seating in the City Commission room and the adjacent meeting room.