Pride Flag Raising Ceremony Makes History At Fresno City Hall; Marks Progress For LGBTQ Community
Hundreds of supporters cheered and clapped in front of Fresno City Hall today as the Pride flag was raised for the first time ever.
City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria spoke at a podium lined with rainbow colored balloons.
“Today marks a new and important chapter in the city of Fresno as we demonstrate our commitment to equality and justice for all,” she said.
Mayor Jerry Dyer attended the ceremony in support, after conversations with members of the LGBTQ community changed his mind about allowing the flag to fly at City Hall.
Among the speakers was Fresno’s first female fire chief, Kerri Donis, who is a member of the LGBTQ community. Donis applauded the decision.
“Our city leaders are sending a very clear message, and that message is to the LGBTQ community: we see you. And regardless of who you are or whom you love, you are the fabric of our community and our city,” Donis said.
As part of the event, the city council presented the first Harvey Milk Awards to three recipients. The award, named after California’s first openly gay elected official honors community champions.
Recipients included Fresno Rainbow Pride CEO Jeffrey Robinson, Kingsburg City Councilmember Jewel Hurtado, and the late gay rights advocate Zoyer Zyndel.
Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta closed the celebration with a familiar phrase.
"Viva gay pride, y si se puede! Muchos gracias, thank you,” she shouted into the microphone.
This year marks the 31st year of Pride recognition in the City of Fresno. The Pride flag will fly at City Hall for the next seven days.