Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Gay Couple Forced to Remove Rainbow Flag by Homeowners Association

A gay couple has been forced to remove their rainbow pride flag, even though it was approved by a previous management company. The new company doesn't want to "clutter" the neighborhood and only allows national holiday flags to be recognized, even though Easter decor which is not part of a national holiday is permitted.

"Steven and Zeniff Vanderran of Mesa, Arizona say homophobia and ongoing disputes with their homeowners association are behind an order to remove a gay pride flag from their Queen Creek home.

Cambria Ocotillo’s design guidelines only allow certain flags, including decorations for certain holidays, according to Jonathan Olcott, the association’s attorney. The association also allows military and U.S. flags.

The couple says it has been the subject of slurs and mockery since the dispute began. In a May 11 posting on a local blog, a writer said the decorations were offensive and “If they want to flaunt their preferences in sex partners like that, they need to move into a gay community”
(Naz Today).
The gay couple is being unfairly mocked, and singled out while other non-nationally recognized celebrations are permitted.

To contact the Cambria Ocotillo Homeowners Association:

Important numbers and community contacts


Mountman said...

Discrimination is discrimination.
Fly the Flag and have them try to sue. I for one wouldn't move to a restricted comm. If I own property, it's mine to do what I want and I don't want or need someone to tell me what I can do there.

Queers United said...

I agree, it isn't hurting anyone and it is their property I don't like this censorship one bit. Although I wouldn't move to a place where there were weird rules like this.

Anonymous said...

How bout this: “If they want to flaunt their preferences (by flying military flags) like that, they need to move into an army community”

Is that ok? No, I thought not. Could someone tell them, please?

Seth said...

FIGHT THAT with every resource they can muster!!!

Anonymous said...

Here is my letter to them. Best, Sean Chapin

Hello Raven,

I hope you are well.

I have been informed recently of a matter involving Cambria Ocotillo, whereby a gay couple that lives in the complex was forced to remove their rainbow pride flag (though it was approved by a previous management company) due to a new policy in which only national holiday flags are to be recognized.

I am not a resident of Cambria Ocotillo, but if I may share my opinion, I find this new policy to be discomforting and alarming. I would believe that the couple wishes to show the rainbow flag as a symbol of celebration of diversity and inclusion, not as a symbol of sexual activity as those who are uninformed may initially conclude. As a proud American, I champion our diversity and inclusiveness, and based on this new policy, I would fear that the new management of Cambria Ocotillo might be fostering a conforming and restricting atmosphere that suffocates opportunities for diversity and inclusiveness and instead allows for discriminating and ignorant attitudes to flourish, some of which I find to be divisive and unjust. In addition, when I see a quote from a blogger local to the area that states “If they want to flaunt their preferences in sex partners like that, they need to move into a gay community”, I begin to wonder if this new policy might be a thinly-veiled homophobic, undeniably ignorant and borderline-hateful attempt to single out and persecute a suspect minority class, especially in juxtaposition to something I have also heard in which Easter decorations were permitted, though Easter is not actually recognized as a national holiday.

On the tenets of understanding over ignorance and celebration over discrimination, I would strongly implore you to reconsider your new policy. Otherwise, as a proud American who truly understands and strives to embody the core values of freedom, justice and equality, I may have some reservations about joining a residential community that would possibly appear to not accept someone like myself who is proud to be who he is among a diverse community of individuals proud to be who they are upon a plethora of diverse communities across our country.

Sean Chapin

Chris Donabedian said...

100% agreed with everyone's thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like something the ACLU may want to address in brief but firm letter to the management company and HOA.

Queers United said...

Hate is a strong word, and I don't think it is good to hate people even if you personally feel that a pride flag is not a necessity.

The pride flag isn't necessarily about saying hey look at me I have sex with the same sex or I identify as the opposite gender. It is about saying I support love, diversity, and equality. It is about displaying your political/social ideology for justice. People who pass that flag can feel welcome, safe, and honored.

Do you also get angry at people who display national flags, isn't that saying hey look at me I'm ______?

Anonymous said...

While I wouldn't necessarily put a flag on my house, I definitely think depriving someone of the right to do so is wrong. I live in San Francisco and I enjoy seeing the flag on my way to work everyday now that it's pride month. People should be able to post anything on their house as long as it isn't slandering anyone or hateful. Not everyone has to wear rainbow, not everyone has to go to Gay Pride Parades, but everyone should have the right to do so.

Anonymous said...

When next Easter comes around, they need to complain about all decorations. LMAO

Where I come from, hanging a Pride flag will get you robbed or jumped. As sad as that is...it's true. But if I could hang one and feel secure with doing so...I would.

This country was founded on the concept of freedom. Something in which we LGBT honestly lack in this country. We have no rights. We can't show pride on our own property, we can't legally be with our partners, cops turn the other cheek in criminal cases, and we get fired from our jobs the moment the boss finds out. How is that freedom?

So, I feel for them, but this doesn't surprise me. I've seen worse. I've experienced worse.

Eric R said...

If you are on face book, please post a link to the article along with contact info the HOA. Let's flood them with calls.

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