Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Pride Flag To Fly Over Costa Mesa?

I’ve chosen to post this here, on my dozing blog, rather than to post a long, long Facebook entry.  If, after you’ve read this, you’re moved to comment on it please return to my Facebook page to post your thoughts.  The “comments” feature has been disabled here on the blog.


Occasionally life presents you with a moment where the next decision you make may change your life forever.   Sometimes it is something as simple as making a wrong driving decision and causing an accident.  Sometimes it could be a careless word that harms someone.  Sometimes it’s more complex than that…

On the one hand you can choose to ignore a controversial situation completely and life will go on as usual, with the same folks who admire you continuing to do so.  On the other, you can state a clear position on the issue knowing full well that many of those people will change their opinion of you - maybe hate your guts forever.  This is one of those moments for me.

For most of the past decade and a half I’ve written here and elsewhere, mostly expressing my views on local political issues. During that time I accumulated many admirers and more than a few enemies.  That’s kind of what happens when you express opinions on sensitive or controversial issues.  I am very grateful to those who chose to read what I've written - even those who did not agree with me.

Today, Tuesday, May 7th, at the request of rookie council member Arlis Reynolds, the Costa Mesa City Council will consider, in their final agenda item during their meeting at the Senior Center tonight, a new Flag Policy and whether or not to authorize the display of the Pride Flag for five weeks each year - from May 22nd, in remembrance of murdered gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, and continue to fly the flag through the month of June to apparently acknowledge the LGBT community.  You can read the staff report HERE.

So, right up front...  I agree we should have a formal Flag Policy, but disagree that we should display the Pride Flag at all, much less for 5 weeks every year.  In researching this it's hard for me to determine just which flag would be flying over City Hall... there seems to be significant disagreement within the LGBT community as to what constitutes the "official flag".

(Some of you will have signed off now, not caring why this is my opinion.  Others will have hung around, looking for more reasons to vilify me.  So be it.)

In my life I have known and admired many gay people.  I have friends, neighbors and relatives who are gay and I love and admire every one of them.  I know several gay couples, each of whom seem to be very happy in their choice.  In all the years that I’ve written for public consumption I doubt you will find any clue to my views on the gay lifestyle.  That was intentional - I am tolerant of the gay lifestyle and I didn’t want to alienate those of you who feel strongly in support of that lifestyle.  Today’s entry will very likely change that...

Perhaps it’s because I’ve rounded the far turn and am in the home stretch in this race called life, but I find myself less patient - on many issues.  I still listen to opposing viewpoints, but I've been around awhile, so it's not as easy to convince me today.  I’m not less patient with gays, per se, but with being force-fed this lifestyle.  For example, for the past couple years it seems that almost every single television drama or comedy finds it necessary to include a gay sub-plot.  We notice more and more commercials have similar gay references. This is distressing to me, because they seem to serve no purpose except to pander to the LGBT community and force me to accept these plot elements and, maybe change my views.  My only choices are to watch or turn off the program.  It’s really pretty simple... I do not want these views forced upon me. 

The latest numbers I can find indicate that around 4.5% of the American population identifies itself as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender.  HERE and HERE are two links for your education.  It’s interesting that the numbers among millenials is over 8% and that Washington, D.C. shows well over 8%.  I won’t get into the argument about whether these lifestyles are “learned” or something one is born with.  As far as I can tell, that argument is still wide open and I don’t intend to debate it here or anywhere.  HERE is a link discussing the “movement”.  And, HERE is a link from Chapman University that addresses Health and Safety LBGT Youth in Orange County.

The proposal being considered by the council tonight is a watershed moment for me.  I think it is a major overreach on this issue.  I’m not convinced we ever need to display the Pride Flag, nor do I think it is appropriate for us to memorialize Harvey Milk in Costa Mesa.   But, if the council is going to seriously consider this issue, and they decide they must do something, I hope they will decide to display the Pride Flag for only one day - or maybe a few -  perhaps sometime in the middle of June, so it doesn’t bleed into Memorial Day or Independence Day.

To those of you who are disappointed with my position on this issue, I apologize… but it is what it is.  If you choose to turn your back on me because of this issue, I guess I understand… it was part of what I considered before I began typing this epistle.  You have always had the freedom to read, or not read, what I’ve written on any subject on any of the many platforms on which my thoughts have appeared.  You've always had the freedom to agree or not agree with my opinions.  If you’ve chosen to leave, I thank you for your support in the past and wish you well.  I am not trying to convince anyone of my opinion on this one... only to state it and let the chips fall where they may.

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