A first for Seattle as the rainbow gay pride flag flies on City Hall

May 30, 2013, 4:01 PM | Updated: 6:50 pm
About 50 activists marched peacefully in the Ukraine's first gay rally last weekend, despite a court ban. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

It’s a first for the City of Seattle.

The rainbow pride flag will be flown at Seattle City Hall on Saturday to mark the beginning of gay pride month.

Why?

Seattle politicians say they’re proud of the way the city leads the way supporting gay employees, offering transgender health benefits, and opening City Hall for 140 weddings the first day it was legal for same-sex couples to wed last December.

“The Pride flag is a symbol that represents Seattle’s longstanding commitment to equality,” Mayor Mike McGinn said in an emailed statement. “By flying the flag over Seattle City Hall we honor that commitment to leading by example in the march toward equal rights for all.”

Is this that big of a deal?

It’s “monumental,” according to Sarah Toce, founder and editor-in-chief of The Seattle Lesbian.

“While we are in no way defined by the colors of the rainbow, so to speak, it is vitally important to remember that visibility is an accessible bridge between those who fight against our civil rights movement and those who walk alongside us toward full inclusion in all 50 states,” Toce says.

“Our work is not done. But for one month, let us celebrate how far we have come.”

Toce will be one of the community leaders raising the flag at Seattle City Hall.

The Pride Flag will be flown alongside the U.S. flag. It will also fly on the city hall flagpole on June 30, the day of the Pride Parade.

A group of 10 LGBT organizations has once again asked the Space Needle to fly the gay-pride flag on the same day as the annual pride parade.

Gay rights issues are being debated in countries around the world.

About 50 activists marched peacefully in the Ukraine’s first gay rally last weekend. In Nigeria, lawmakers passed a same-sex marriage ban. France recently held its first gay marriage ceremony.

By LINDA THOMAS

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A first for Seattle as the rainbow gay pride flag flies on City Hall