The Progress Pride Flag will fly on the building in recognition of Pride Month.
Today, city officials hoisted the LGBTQ Pride flag over San Diego City Hall. This is the first that a Pride flag has flown on City Hall for all to see, although Pride flags have been displayed in the building's lobby in the past.
Mayor Todd Gloria hosted a press conference this morning outside of San Diego City Hall in Downtown to celebrate the flag, which will fly on the building during Pride Month. Along with Mayor Gloria at the conference were Council President Jennifer Campbell, Council President Pro Tempore Stephen Whitburn, Councilmember Raul Campillo, the Hon. Christine Kehoe, and community leader Connor Maddox.
It was noted that Kehoe was the first openly-gay elected official in the San Diego region, when she was elected Councilmember for the Third Council District in 1993. Kehoe continued on to the State Assembly then State Senate before retiring a few years ago. Gloria is the city's first openly gay mayor. Campbell and Whitburn are both members of the LGBTQ community.
The raising of the flag on the building is historic, especially after community members had to fight for decades to achieve represntation and visibility in the City.
Longtime community activist Nicole Murray-Ramirez recalled the days when civic leaders rejected permit requests for a Pride Parade and rejected the notion that there was an LGBTQ consituency in San Diego.
"We are a resilient community," said Murray-Ramirez. "In 1974, the chief of police told us there would never be a Pride Parade in San Diego. We marched anyway."
That first un-permitted parade in 1974 only had a couple hundred participants, many who hid their identity for fear of losing their jobs, friends, or family. Today, the San Diego Pride Parade draws nearly a quarter-of-a-million spectators and participants.
Mayor Gloria also thanked Councilmember Campillo, who represents the Seventh Council District, for his participation in today's event. While Campillo is not a part of the LGBTQ community, he considers himself an ally.
"There are a lot of LGBTQ people in places like District 7," said Gloria. "We have grown as a community, and progress means that [LGBTQ people] don't just have to live in Hillcrest anymore, and that they can have a representative who supports them, wherever they live."
The flag flying over City Hall is a "Progress Pride Flag" and was custom made by Season 14 Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton, along with Shaun Sharp. Eddie Reynoso of the Equality Business Alliance donated the materials and supplies for the flag.