Antioch displays the LGBTQ pride flag after some intense debate in June 2019.

Carrie Hodousek/KCBS Radio

Opponents Of Pride Flag Threaten To Sue Antioch

Carrie Hodousek
June 14, 2019 - 6:19 am

Antioch is flying the rainbow pride flag, but the fight looks to be far from over.

LGBTQ supporters are celebrating the city's decision this week to raise the flag at City Hall. Other residents are threatening to file litigation against the city for allegedly violating the law.

Opponents said the city should not endorse one particular group or lifestyle by flying a nongovernmental flag on city property.

"This is not the place or the venue," said minister Ryan Gibbons. "The flag does not represent all people. It only represents some of the people."

Supporters, on the other hand, said the flag gives future generations a chance to feel comfortable in their own skin.

"I hope that by raising this flag my nephew will be able to grow up in a community where he is not bullied and harassed like my family was because my brother is gay," said resident Amy Householder.

The debate in Antioch is similar to disagreements that have flared in other East Bay cities like Dublin and Oakley this spring over whether to display the rainbow flag during LGBTQ pride celebrations in June. 

Ralph Hernandez, another Antioch resident, told the City Council during a hearing that waving the flag is a way of picking sides.

"It's a political movement," he said. "They want you to advocate for them. They are already represented. Look at your flags behind you: the US flag, the California flag, the city flag. They all represent everyone without discrimination, without picking on any particular group."

Jack Rednour-Bruckman, Antioch resident and director of the Concord Rainbow Community Center, said the waving of the pride flag is long overdue.

"It's 2019, so it's hard to have to keep fighting," Rednour-Bruckman said. "To have that go up acknowledging that this town and this county is a place for all, is welcoming, is tolerant and celebrating diversity and inclusiveness is such a wonderful feeling."

Antioch joins a list of East Bay cities that have voted to fly the pride flag including Orinda, Lafayette, Emeryville, Oakland, Richmond, El Cerrito, Concord, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek.​