May 22, 2023 - News

Surfside will raise Pride flag after refusing last year

A pride flag is raised in Surfside.

Surfside's 2021 pride flag ceremony. Photo: Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

After sparking outrage last year for refusing to fly the LGBTQ+ pride flag, the town of Surfside is displaying the rainbow colors for this year's Pride Month in June.

Why it matters: Its initial refusal led residents to protest outside Town Hall last year.

  • Surfside native Gerardo Vildostegui, who is gay, tells Axios he's still upset about the "backroom machinations and bogus legal arguments" that led to the town's decision last year.
  • But he said the raising of the flag this year carries extra significance in light of the anti-LGBTQ+ laws recently passed in Florida.
  • "I'm just happy to see the Town reaffirm the message of tolerance and inclusion that we sent in 2021," he wrote in an email. "It's a rejection of all the hate and the intolerance that have been coming out of Tallahassee lately."

Catch up fast: Surfside raised the flag for the first time in 2021 at the request of then-vice mayor Tina Paul, who is gay.

  • It decided against flying the flag in 2022, arguing that without having a formal flag policy, raising one would "open the door" for demands from outside groups.
  • At the time, Mayor Shlomo Danzinger said he feared "Satanic cults" or other groups would request to fly "a black cross or swastika" flag.

The bottom line: Later that summer, the Town Commission designated June as Pride Month and voted to fly the pride flag.

  • The flag ceremony is June 2 at the Community Center, 9301 Collins Ave.

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