City of Newcastle opts out of raising pride flag at city hall

June is Pride Month. For the 12th year, the city of Seattle raised the LGBTQ+ pride flag in front of city hall. 

"This is something our entire city takes pride in," Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said. "When we talk about pride, it’s a pride in the pain we overcome as a community." 

This is also the 50th anniversary of Seattle Pride. But as Seattle celebrates pride, in Newcastle, the city council voted against raising the pride flag at its city hall.

The move comes after the City of Newcastle has raised the pride flag for Pride Month (June) over the past several years. Each color of the pride flag reflects the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, but for some, the flag is colored with controversy.


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"I move that city council direct city staff to raise the pride flag in front of city hall for the duration of the month of June, also widely known as Pride Month," motioned Newcastle councilmember Paul Charbonneau at a city council meeting on June 4.

While some supported raising the flag, others did not.

 "If we start raising flags, we got to raise everybody - we want a Hamas flag flying over, you know, the city of Newcastle, or MAGA flag? How about a Trump flag or an Antifa flag? We're not going there folks, not while I’m the mayor, I’m sorry. So this is already an inclusive city with an inclusive flag that flies 24/7 over our city, we include everybody," said Mayor Robert Clark during the June 4 city council meeting.

Charbonneau grew up in Newcastle and was in disbelief when he heard those comments.

"It was jarring to me, I was really surprised to hear it, I think a lot of people were surprised to hear it," Charbonneau said.

He adds, the part that really hurt him was that he brought this forward to recognize a group of people.

"I was terrified that I exposed these folks to more harm because they had to listen to that and that hurt," Charbonneau said. 

After a 4-to-3 vote, the city council chose not to raise the flag in front of city hall this Pride Month. 

FOX 13 reached out to Mayor Clark. He sent us this statement:

community pride event is scheduled for 5 p.m. Lake Boren Park in Newcastle on Tuesday, June 18th, Charbonneau told FOX 13.


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