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A city in Michigan votes to permanently ban Pride flags from display on public property during Pride Month

<i>Sarahbeth Maney/Detroit Free Press/USA Today Network</i><br/>People overflow into a hallway to listen to public comment before the vote about banning the LGBTQ Pride flag on government buildings and city property
Sarahbeth Maney/Detroit Free Press/USA Today Network
People overflow into a hallway to listen to public comment before the vote about banning the LGBTQ Pride flag on government buildings and city property

By Eli Masket and Michelle Watson, CNN

(CNN) — As communities across the United States celebrate June as Pride Month, a city near Detroit, Michigan, has voted to permanently ban the display of Pride flags on public property.

Hamtramck’s city council members voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the controversial resolution, which restricts the city from flying any “religious, ethnic, racial, political, or sexual orientation group flags” on public grounds, according to meeting minutes.

Residents and businesses will not be restricted from flying Pride or other flags on private property.

The resolution, brought by city council member Mohammed Hassan, says that the city will not provide special treatment to any group of people. City council members shared that flying a Pride flag could potentially lead to other “radical or racist groups” asking for their flags to be flown.

Dozens of community members spoke on the resolution during several hours allotted for public comment. One individual opposed to the resolution said, “For Hamtramck to attempt to equate the LGBTQ Pride flag with hate symbols, when it is a symbol of progress and love, is now a local attack on our community.”

Hamtramck is described in the resolution as “one of the most diverse cities in the United States.” The city has a large immigrant presence and all the city council members are of the Muslim faith, city manager Max Garbarino told CNN Thursday. Hamtramck was also the first known city in the US to inaugurate an all-Muslim government, CNN previously reported.

The resolution stipulates that along with the American flag, the city also flies flags “that represent the international character” of the area. It says that “each religious, ethnic, racial, political, or sexually oriented group is already represented by the country it belongs to.”

In an email sent to the city council, another resident said the idea that all groups are represented by their national flag of origin is “patently false.”

“Does Hamtramck wish to participate in this trend of alienating, threatening, and punishing members of the LGBTQ+ community, or does it wish to embrace our diversity as touted in our model, ‘The world in two square miles?’” the resident asked.

Mayor Amer Ghalib said he wasn’t sure if many of the resolution’s opponents had actually read the document.

Ghalib said the resolution was not only aimed at banning the display of Pride flags but also flags of other groups. Ghalib added he had recently met a person who had asked to raise a religious flag, which would not be allowed after the resolution was passed.

“We are not targeting one group or another,” Ghalib said.

As a result of the vote, the only additional flags that Hamtramck will allow are those that represent the city’s immigrant heritage.

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