Monday, September 08, 2008

Rainbow flags illegal in Miami Beach--but not for long

In a move that will undoubtedly rock the South Florida universe, Miami Beach city commissioners are prepared to rule on the legality of displaying rainbow flags in public.

Rainbow flags cannot be flown outside any businesses or homes in Miami Beach, because of a city code restricting "pennants, banners, streamers, flags and flagpoles." Only flags that represent actual countries are allowed. No word on the legalities surrounding my Brazilian next door neighbor, who uses his country's flag as curtains.

City commissioners, led by fearless Mayor Matti Bower, are concerned about the loss of gay business in Miami Beach. By allowing symbols of gay pride in public, they hope to welcome back the crowds that once lined the nightclubs and shops in town. And waving gay flags in everyone's faces is the first step, apparently.

The new law that allows rainbow flags is up for vote on September 10. If city commissioners vote in favor of the new law (and they are expected to pass it unanimously), rainbow flags will be the only flags added to the list what is allowed. So no bear flags, leather flags, etc. But these things come in baby steps, baby steps.


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