Monday, March 6, 2023

Solvang rejects pride banners

The Solvang City Council voted 3-2 to reject an application to install Pride banners marking Pride Month in June and temporary rainbow-themed crosswalks. Mayor Mark Infanti and Councilmen David Brown and Robert Clarke voted to deny the request, citing concerns that it would favor one business and may not promote acceptance. 

Councilwomen Elizabeth Orona and Claudia Orona voted against the denial. The proposed banners and crosswalks were submitted by local business owner Kiel Cavalli, who owns a toy and bookstore with his husband and founded The Rainbow House, a nonprofit organization for the LGBTQIA community. 

Opponents of the proposal argued that it would dilute the city's Danish brand and potentially confuse visitors. Some supporters noted Denmark's leadership in LGBTQ rights and encouraged the council to keep up with that heritage. 

The city's policy on banners prohibits those for political or religious purposes or for private financial gain that doesn't promote tourism, while staff said that rainbow-themed crosswalks could be considered public art and would need to still function as crosswalks.

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