While the Irvine City Council debates the merits of flying the Pride Flag at City Hall, a rally by residents will take place on the steps of City Hall urging the council to do the right thing and show some Pride.
The rally is co-hosted by council candidates Tammy Kim and Lauren Johnson Norris, who are also city commissioners. Try and get there early as parking could be tough and bring your Pride flags and don’t forget to wear a mask and social distance. COVID19 is still flaring up.
And while raising your voice to protest is important, what’s more important is telling the council why they ought to allow this flag to fly. There’s a link at the end, but some background first.
The ones to watch during the meeting itself are Mayor Christina Shea and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Carroll. Last year’s failed attempt to fly the Pride flag, Carroll’s rationale for a “no” vote was read from a prepared statement (some thought went into this) that, “Irvine does not need a spectacle of divisiveness.. As city leaders, we should not be inciting unnecessary and corrosive divisions in our community.”
A flag designed to bring people together is a “spectacle of divisiveness?”
Mayor Shea is the person who led an effort for passing Measure N in 1989 which, in part says:
The City Council shall not enact any City policy, law or ordinance that:
- Defines sexual orientation as a fundamental human right.
- Uses sexual orientation as the basis for determining an unlawful discriminatory practice and/or establishes a penalty or civil remedy for such practice.
- Provides preferential treatment or affirmative action for any person on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Shea’s argument at the time was that a 1988 Human Rights ordinance, passed by then Council member Larry Agran, gave “special legislative protection to the homosexual, bisexual and lesbian communities.” She suggested that “homosexuality is characterized by a wide range of sexual perversions, varying degrees of promiscuity and a disproportionate percentage of sexually transmitted diseases.”
Of course, none of this is true.
Agran’s Human Rights Ordinance was decades ahead of its time and was passed in spite of a huge Republican voting majority in Irvine. It’s something he doesn’t get enough credit for, especially by those who have nearly doubled Irvine’s population since then.
And last week’s groundbreaking Supreme Court decision likely renders this city ordinance unconstitutional. Residents should be asking the council and the city attorney to render a decision to declare that ordinance void.
Leave Shea and Carroll a message by using this link: https://www.cityofirvine.org/city-council/contact-council.