FRESNO, California. (KSEE) – After controversy about raising the LGBTQ+ Pride flag at Fresno City Hall made national news, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer vetoed the resolution that made the move possible.
The veto is for a resolution that allowed the city council to decide what flags fly in front of City Hall.
Dyer vowed to work with other officials to come up with a better flag flying system going forward.
The move comes after the LGBTQ+ Pride flag was raised in front of City Hall for the first time in history.
“The LGBTQ community should know that City Hall does stand with them,” said Councilmember Nelson Esparza. “I find it very unfortunate that there has been such a fiasco and debacle around simply raising the flag to show these members that we love and support them.”
The road to get the flag on the flagpole was a bumpy one. At first, Dyer proposed a new free speech space at Eaton Plaza to fly the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag but changed his mind after hearing criticism from city officials and community members.
Ultimately, the city council approved a resolution allowing for the council to decide what flags are flown instead of the City Manager.
Councilmember Garry Bredefeld voted no. He believes only government flags should be raised at City Hall.
“A slippery slope,” said Bredefeld. “It will cause division. There has already been division with this, so it is just a terrible policy.”
On Saturday, Dyer vetoed the resolution, which gave the power back to the City Manager.
He promised to work with the council on a ceremonial flag annual schedule for the year both at Eaton Plaza and City Hall.
In a statement about the veto, Dyer listed 15 flag examples that could be flown under the new plan including the Pride flag, Veteran’s flag, Armenian Genocide Remembrance flag, and Police Officer Memorial Week flag.
Council President Luis Chavez said he is working with Dyer on a new resolution.
He said if it is approved anyone would be able to petition flags to be flown either at City Hall or in an area created for free speech.
“Once it is designated as free speech, ” said Chavez. “Then that does open the door for other organizations or other entities to come and petition to fly their flag but we have to keep in mind that a Councilmember, Mayor, or City Manager would have to sponsor that entity or organization.”