Dublin official who voted against LGBT flag reconsiders his stance

A week after Dublin Councilmember Arun Goel appeared to embrace a slippery slope argument proffered by some residents against observing Pride month by raising the iconic rainbow flag at city hall, he now says he supports the proposal and urges for a reconsideration of the council vote next week.

Goel wrote in a Facebook posting Monday that he was educated by members of the LGBTQ community on the importance and symbolism of the Pride flag in the days after the council’s controversial vote on May 21.

“I reaffirm my commitment to the LGBT community, and I reaffirm my belief that we should have an inclusive flag raising policy to ensure that we remain true to our values. Dublin does not condone hatred, bigotry, or discrimination of any kind, toward any human being. We do not harbor hatred of others because they are different, but we do celebrate our diversity. We are proud of it.” Goel wrote.

“In other words, YES, I believe that we should have an inclusive flag raising policy, and YES, I believe that the LGBT pride flag should qualify.”

Goel reiterated that the Dublin City Council should adopt of policy for special flag raisings, but also want to revisit the LGBT flag issue as early as its next meeting on June 4.

He went further acknowledging the existence of other LGBT flags that are more specific to groups within the community and that they too should be flown in Dublin.

During the May 21 meeting, a number of public speakers voiced a range of distinct and veiled anti-LGBTQ comments. Goel expressed personal regret on Facebook for “not being a more proactive voice in directly addressing any inappropriate comments made by residents during public comment.”

Goel’s public comments last week, at one point, praised “a lot of great speeches,” before questioning whether allowing the LGBT flag to fly over city hall would lead to all types of groups expressing a desire to fly their own banners. “If we were to do something like this, I’m worried. What is the next step? What is the next ask?” Goel said on May 21.

In addition, to Goel, Dublin Mayor David Haubert and Councilmember Melissa Hernandez voted against the LGBT Pride flag proposal brought by Councilmember Shawn Kumagai. Hernandez said her vote was not a vote against the LGBTQ community, but a decision to prioritize the creation of a specific flag raising policy.



Categories: Dublin, Dublin City Council, Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

8 replies

  1. Perhaps the Citizens and Voters of Dublin have spoken clearly enough to Arun Goel to preserve his elective position. Now Mellissa Hernandez and David Haubert either need to help fly the Rainbox Flag over Dublin for June 2019 or they need to be voted out of office at the earliest possible convenience of the voters of Dublin.

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  2. Perhaps the citizens and voters of Dublin don’t want special interests hijacking the political process and have spoken clearly enough to maintain the status quo. If the others want to be retained then they had better heed the will of the majority and dispense with these shows of ‘symbolism.’ You want a flag, any flag? Fly it from your own flagpole on your own property and stop trying to ram your agenda down our throats!

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    • Anonymous, the citizens and voters of Dublin have not yet spoken about the special interests hijacking the political process, I suspect that they will do so if the Rainbow Flag does not fly in Dublin. Right now the majority who can read and vote are clearly with the Democratic majority. The special interest minority is in fact those who support intolerance and are likely from the very conservative Intolerant Right Wing Republican Zealots who claim that their God is on their Side and their God says no Flags. I look forward to the referendum on this issue. You will get to participate in a week or so when Dublin decides if it is going to be part of the Inclusive America or part of the Fire Breathing Haters lately seen in Mississippi, Wyoming, Texas, Missouri and Alabama. Good luck.

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  3. Mrs. Sparkman and I believe the following is worth restating: Perhaps the citizens and voters of Dublin don’t want special interests hijacking the political process and have spoken clearly enough to maintain the status quo. If the others want to be retained then they had better heed the will of the majority and dispense with these shows of ‘symbolism.’ You want a flag, any flag? Fly it from your own flagpole on your own property and stop trying to ram your agenda down our throats!

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    • Dear Anonymous,

      I hope that you and Mrs. Sparkman vote your desires. I suspect that the majority of voters and citizens of Dublin do not share your interests at all. If you or Mrs. Sparkman are actually real Dubliners, more power to you. You will lose in the election, I suspect. The majority of Californians do support diversity, LGBTQ initiatives, Pride Month and a whole lot of other Democratic planks that I think you probably are not in favor of. In Russia I suspect you will be happier, if you are in fact not one of those Russian Trolls we have read so much about. You know the ones that did everything possible to get Trump elected. Yeah, that guy, the one who thinks like you do. You likely are OK with the Iranians, the North Koreans, the Red Chinese and the Russians. Have fun. I suspect that you will be unhappy after the elections.

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  4. We agree with the comment that restricts such displays to one’s private property. If the council doesn’t follow the will of the majority to leave this issue alone and does capitulate to an activist minority agenda, then they indeed should be voted out of office. The only local flag that should be flown is one with the city seal on it. Other than that, just stars and stripes and CA bear flag. The rabble rousers who are promulgating this issue are seeking to divide and stir controversy. Three flags only–the ones I’ve mentioned already.

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  5. Anonymous,

    I guess the voters and the council have spoken. Your loss. Pride and the Flag flies.

    The people have spoken.

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  6. Very sad day for democracy. The voters have definitely NOT spoken–yet. An activist, thug minority hijacked the democratic process and used intimidation and blackmail to subvert the will of the majority. Politicians who cower in fear, place their fingers to the wind, and then bend over backwards while simultaneously doing a full frontal, have no place representing the people. The Dublin Council’s days are numbered, and the people will triumph in the end. Special interests have no place in city hall or indeed anywhere. As Chief Justice Roberts stated so well, ‘You may have received what you wanted, but don’t thank the Constitution–in this case we’ll substitute democracy–for it had nothing to do with it.’ Clearly, an activist minority subverted the well reasoning of the majority. A growing sign of the tumultuous times in which we live. Intimidation rules the day.

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