Monday, March 30, 2009

Miami Beach Residents Gets Right to Fly Pride Flag Ahead of Pride Event

From the Desk of King in Miami

With the first-ever Pride in Miami Beach approaching, here is an interesting article courtesy of Miami Herald. Miami Beach Pride begins April 18. For more info, check out their site,
It's among the most basic of American rights: the freedom to fly a flag.

But in Miami Beach -- home to one of the largest gay communities in the country -- residents and businesses only recently got the go-ahead to fly the rainbow-striped Pride Flag. And only after receiving a city permit.

''The problem is the businesses just went out and bought a flagpole and in an expression of their pride, put up the flag,'' said City Commissioner Victor Diaz, who said a number of business owners have since been slapped with fines and taken their flags down. Flying any flag in the right of way without a permit is a violation of city code.

With Pride Month around the corner, the commission took immediate action: carving out an exemption for April. Only an online form will be required.

Questions still linger about permitting requirements for other flags, including Old Glory.

It took no less than four city department heads to try to clarify the rules -- often disagreeing.

'I only have to laugh 'cause I see the four of you standing there, none of whom are the four who are going to be at the permit counter when some poor business owner comes and says `I'd like to fly the flag,' '' quipped Commissioner Saul Gross.

''We're solving it in the short term with the temporary permit,'' Diaz said. ``But we need to find a more permanent solution.''


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