California Capitol flies Gay Pride Flag for first time in history

California Capitol Gay Pride Flag

For the first time in its history, California flies the Gay Pride at the State Capitol building. It was raised this morning. Photo: Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

For the first time in its history, California flies the Gay Pride Flag at the State Capitol building for more than one a day.

The flag was raised this morning in Sacramento at the request of Gov. Gavin Newsom  in recognition of LGBTQ Pride Month. The flag will fly until July 1.

The LGBTQ Pride Flag previously was flown at the Capitol building in 1990 on October 11 in observation of National Coming Out Day.

Today’s flag raising follows historical firsts in Colorado and Wisconsin and happens at the same time the Trump Administration has told U.S. embassies they can’t fly pride flags.

“In California, we celebrate and support our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community’s right to live out loud – during Pride month and every month,” Newsom said in a prepared statement. “By flying the pride flag over the State Capitol, we send a clear message that California is welcoming and inclusive to all, regardless of how you identify or who you love.”

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The flag was raised this morning by staff from the California Department of General Services with oversight from an honor guard from the California National Guard, which has said it will resist the Trump Administration’s transgender military ban.

“Flying the Pride flag over the Capitol is a powerful symbol of California’s leadership on LGBTQ civil rights and social justice — a literal beacon of hope to LGBTQ people throughout the state and across the country,” Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur said in a statement.

Today is the first time the LGBTQ Pride Flag has flown on the flag pole above the State Capitol, but the flag has been hung over balconies both inside and outside of the building.

The Capitol dome was illuminated in rainbow colors in June 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the 14th Amendment requires all states to grant same-sex marriages and recognize same-sex marriages granted in other states.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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