LA City Council approves flying of Pride Flag at City Hall for June 2024

The Los Angeles City Council Friday approved a new policy that will allow for the Progress Pride Flag to be raised in the Civic Center and other facilities to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

Council members voted 12-0 in favor of amending the city's current policy to allow them to fly the Pride Flag for the month of June. Council members Tim McOsker, John Lee and Kevin de León were absent during the vote.

On Tuesday, council members instructed the City Attorney's office to prepare an ordinance to update the current flag regulations. Council members wanted to change the policy to ensure the Progress Pride Flag -- a version of the Pride Flag that some LGBTQ+ advocates say is more inclusive -- gets flown in time for Pride Month. The monthlong celebration commemorates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride, which began after the Stonewall riots, a series of gay liberation protests in 1969 in New York City.

Council members McOsker, Monica Rodriguez, Traci Park, Hugo Soto- Martinez and Bob Blumenfield introduced a motion last year seeking to raise the Progress Pride Flag at City Hall, City Hall East, City Hall South and other city facilities where the American, Californian and city flags are displayed during the month of June.

The City Charter, section 7.66, prohibits flags other than the American, California and city flags from being raised at City Hall or any other city facilities. The council members introduced the motion in June 2023, but were too late to raise the flag that year.

Last year, the county Board of Supervisors voted to raise the Progress Pride Flag at several government buildings.

Earlier this month, the Downey City Council enacted a "neutral flag" policy in a 3-2 vote, taking down the Pride flag that had previously flown for three years at City Hall. In March, the city of Huntington Beach had also decided to take down its Pride flags from flying on city property, and allow certain flags from flying.

According to the L.A. council members' motion, the first known Pride flag debuted at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in June 1978. At the encouragement of gay activist Harvey Milk, Gilbert Baker sewed the flag to symbolize the value and dignity of the gay community.

In 2015, the White House lit up with rainbow colors following the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that guarantees a constitutional right to same sex-marriage.

In June 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom requested that the Pride flag be flown on the main flagpole at the State Capitol building in commemoration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month -- marking the first time in state history that had occurred.

On Dec. 13, 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act, which provides federal protections for same-sex marriage.