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Florida bill would prohibit flying Pride flags at certain locations

House Bill 901 would prohibit flying flags that celebrate sexuality, gender orientation or race at schools or government buildings.
Florida bill would prohibit flying Pride flags at certain locations
Posted at 11:34 AM, Dec 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-19 13:34:14-05

A new bill filed in Florida would require local governments and schools to "remain neutral" when it comes to displaying flags.

The proposed legislation, HB 901, was filed by state Rep. David Borrero, a Republican. It would prohibit flying flags that celebrate sexuality, gender orientation or race.

Compass LGBTQ Center CEO Julie Seaver is among those opposed to the legislation.

"I currently do not support HB 901," Seaver said.

The proposed legislation would limit where certain flags, including the Pride flag, can be flown at government buildings and schools.

"A rainbow flag of just inclusion is to me a beautiful thing," Lake Worth Beach resident Maxwell Chapman said, "but at the same time there are those that support that positive messaging and in fact want to bring us back to a darker time in my opinion."

SEE MORE: The history behind the ubiquitous Pride flag

The issue of flags has become a heated issue for many people, including Palm Beach County parent Frank Deliu. Last year, he sued the Palm Beach County School District over Pride flags displayed in his child's seventh-grade classroom. He said he supports HB 901.

"The bill actually is very specific that it says that flags may not be erected relating to politically partisan, racial, sexual orientation, gender or political ideology viewpoint, and that's simply all that I ever wanted,"  Deliu said.

Seaver said one of the reasons she enjoys Lake Worth Beach is because of the diversity and inclusion that isn't limited to flags.

"I think our local city governments should be able to fly culturally significant flags based on the residents that they represent," Seaver added.

Scripps News West Palm Beach contacted Borrero for comment about the legislation but did not hear back. 

While the bill places limits on displaying flags at government buildings and schools, it does not limit the right of a private individual to exercise freedom of speech. 

The bill will be up for consideration during the upcoming legislative session, which starts Jan. 9.

This story was originally published by Chris Gilmore at Scripps News West Palm Beach


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