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Petition launched to take down Pride flag at Vista City Hall

Petition launched to take down Pride flag at Vista City Hall
Posted at 4:47 PM, Jun 06, 2024

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - Outside Vista’s City Hall, a campaign is underway hoping to take down a Pride flag, which the city council voted to raise for Pride month.

As some held American flags, a group of Vista residents stood in front of City Hall Thursday morning and announced their opposition to the presence of the Pride flag, raised in a ceremony on Monday, after the city council voted in March to fly the flag for Pride month.

“For the city council, to prioritize one specialized group over another … extremely exclusionary to other residents,” said Kimberlee Simmons.

Simmons says in one day, she and other residents have gathered more than a hundred signatures to a petition opposing the flag raising.

She says a separate, Change.org petition she started, with more than 200 signatures, was pulled by the site, claiming it was against community guidelines.

Max Disposti, founder of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center, calls the Pride flag's presence an important step for visibility in Vista.

“It's important to set the tone of conversion. It sends a message that bullying is not okay, that discriminatory practices are not okay, especially during a time when hates crimes against LGBT people are on the rise,” said Disposti.

Over the past several years, we've seen the debate over raising Pride flags on public property in local cities and communities across the country.

Dispositi says most cities in the North County have decided to fly Pride flags this year. Simmons says it's a trend she hopes to help reverse, beginning in Vista.

“All specialized causes, groups or flags should not be flown at a government building to ensure residents feel united at their government buildings,” said Simmons.

Disposti says the Pride flag is in fact unifying, and not exclusionary.

“It breaks my heart to know there are still people not understanding the simple act of loving your neighbors and being affirming of all the diversity,” said Disposti.

As for the petition, Simmons isn't sure how long the campaign will continue for, but at one point, she will present the signatures to the city, in hopes of preventing future flag raisings. Anyone who wants information on the campaign is asked to email Simmons at UnitedNotDividedVista@gmail.com.