Michigan Town Bans Pride Flags On Public Property

Recently, Hamtramck, Michigan’s city council unanimously voted to ban Pride flags from being shown on public property. Interestingly, Hamtramck is the only Muslim-majority town in the U.S.

The ruling was celebrated with cheers and applause inside City Hall, where many concerned citizens, who are Muslim and Christian, showed up to express their thoughts on the matter.

“We want to respect the religious rights of our citizens,” Councilmember Nayeem Choudhury said.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the resolution was introduced by Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Mohammed Hassan. It applies to Pride flags and those promoting any religious, ethnic, racial, or political orientation group.

“Only, the American flag, and the nations’ flags that represent the international character of our City shall be flown,” Hassan stated, adding that it was crucial to “maintain and confirm the neutrality of the city of Hamtramck towards its residents.”

Hassan argued that allowing Pride flags to be flown on public property could lead to white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups asking for the same opportunity.

“The city does not want to open the door for radical or racist groups to ask for their flags to be flown,” he wrote.

The meeting at City Hall took a strange turn when a woman wearing a clown nose took the podium to mock the Pride flag debate.

“Sure, many Hamtramck residents have fled countries where being gay is a death sentence, but nothing says we have to make it ‘comforting’ and ‘welcoming’ here,” the woman said in a sarcastic speech. “While we can’t legally discriminate against LGBTQ people in the United States anymore, the City of Hamtramck can say, ‘Ew, no, be proud somewhere else.”

At the end of her speech, the woman began kissing her same-gendered partner as an act of protest.

“You guys are welcome,” Choudhury said. “Why do you have to have the flag shown on government property to be represented?”

“You’re already represented. We already know who you are,” Choudhury added.

During the hours of debate at City Hall before the recent ruling, many Muslim residents and elected officials explained that the resolution was not motivated by hate.

Mayor Amer Ghalib noted that most of his boards and commissions are made up of LGBT members or allies. He stated his administration’s goal was to “serve everybody equally with no discrimination, but without favoritism.”

Individuals opposed to the resolution argued that not flying the Pride flag was an act of prejudice and that it would harm the LGBT community’s chances of attracting investments.