Two years ago today, our Nation's Oldest City government lost another civil rights case.
Our City violated the rights of local Gay and Lesbian activists, who won the right to fly Rainbow flags for Gay Pride. The only group our Nation's Oldest City government ever turned down was the St. Augustine Pride Committee. Thrice City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS turned down the Committee in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2005, City Commissioners voted on the issue, upholding HARRISS, violating the First Amendment.
At about this time of day on June 7, 2005, United States District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. skewered the City's pretexts, ordering the flags to fly from June 8-13, 2005. On June 13, 2007, Commissioners GEORGE GARDNER (then-Mayor), DONALD CRICHLOW and ERROL JONES voted to ban all but government-flagflying on our Bridge of Lions (BOL).
Our current Mayor, JOE BOLES, voted twice against bigotry, once on May 23, 2005 and once again on June 13, 2005. Commissioner SUSAN BURK voted once against First Amendment violations and bigotry, missing the June 13, 2005 meeting.
Diversity and environmental protection will defeat bigotry, mendacity and environmental depredations. To those naysayers who say, "you can't fight City Hall," please see photo above.