FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — In an emotional Friday afternoon at Fresno City Hall, Mayor Jerry Dyer reversed his stance on where the LGBTQ Pride flag should fly in Fresno.
Dyer says over the last day he has been moved by the stories of hardship by members of the LGBTQ community.
These stories came in response to his proposal to move the scheduled Pride flag raising ceremony for next Friday to Eaton Plaza with the creation of ‘Unity Park.’
Dyer was joined by local faith leaders and LGBTQ activist to make the announcement. Rev. Tim Kutzmark of the Unitarian Universal Church Fresno lauded Dyer on his decision.
“You are standing not just on the right side of history, but you are standing on the correct side of love,” Kutzmark said to the mayor.
Dyer says after talking to members of the local LGBTQ community about his ‘Unity Park’ proposal, he understands the pain this caused.
“Offering up ‘Unity Park’ at Eaton Plaza as a free speech area, although appreciated by many as I said, has been seen as a way to separate, or to segregate the LGBTQ community from City Hall.”
Dyer also says another reason for the change of heart was attending a flag raising ceremony at Fresno City College Friday morning.
“I heard story after story of how members of the LGBT community have felt marginalized, excluded, and not accepted by family, friends, and even churches,” Dyer said. “This flag at City Hall, raised at City Hall, represents hope.”
Fresno Rainbow Pride founder and spokesperson Jeffery Robinson initially wasn’t happy with the mayor’s ‘Unity Park’ proposal on Thursday, but said he had productive heart to heart talk with the Dyer on Thursday night, which also pushed the mayor to make this change.
“This is a 31-year journey that Fresno’s queer community has undertaken,” Robinson said. “This is a symbolic gesture that will speak volumes and impact lives in such a positive way.”
The Pride flag is set to be raised at City Hall for the first time in history on Friday, June 11 at 10:00 a.m. It’s open to the public.