Emeryville to raise LGBTQ flag for itself, another for Dublin, as backlash begins

Emeryville Councilmember John Bauters.

If Dublin city leaders won’t recognize the LGBTQ community’s steady effort for inclusiveness by raising the rainbow-striped LGBT Pride flag at their city hall, then Emeryville Councilmember John Bauters says his city will fly one for Emeryville on June 8, and another for Dublin.

The Dublin City Council, last week voted down a proposal by Councilmember Shawn Kumagai to fly the LGBT Pride flag at city hall, amid a number of anti-LGBTQ comments and assertions by the public. Kumagai initially sought to raise the flag for the entire month of June in celebration of Pride month, but an amended proposal by Kumagai to fly the flag for one day on June 1, was defeated by the council majority.

Bauters said the Dublin City Council’s 3-2 vote last week sends a chilling message to the LGBTQ community, which led him to include the Tri-Valley city in Emeryville’s annual Pride month celebration next month. “When others try to silence a member of the LGBTQ community,” said Bauters, “I stand ready to lift that voice.”

It is not common for a city to register such a clear rebuke of a neighboring city, but Emeryville’s action appears to be just the beginning of a backlash among progressives in Alameda County toward the Dublin City Council’s decision.

Many Alameda County Democrats were not surprised by opposition to the flag raising by conservative-leaning Dublin Mayor David Haubert and Councilmember Arun Goel. But party leaders expressed shock at the deciding vote cast by Councilmember Melissa Hernandez, whose campaign for the city council was backed by the Alameda County Democratic Party and other left-leaning groups.

The Tri-Valley Democratic Club, which often zig-zags along the political spectrum, reserved a fair amount of vitriol toward the Dublin City Council’s decision, saying it was “hate in full display” and urging residents to “let them know they let us down and are out of step with our values.”

“I’m deeply disgusted to share that two of those who voted down flying the flag are self-proclaimed ‘Democrats,'” Dean Wallace, a past president of the Tri-Valley Democratic Club wrote in an email to its members last Friday. Hernandez and Goel are registered Democrats.

“Vice Mayor Melissa Hernandez, who this Committee endorsed in 2016, was one of the two who voted it down, and she did not say one word calling out the hatred before the Council. Not one word,” he added.

The furor over the LGBTQ flag vote is expected to return to Dublin City Hall next week. The Tri-Valley Democratic Club and others are urging LGBTQ supporters to attend the council’s next meeting on June 4.

 

 

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