Michigan City Council Members Vote Against LGBTQ+ Pride Flags On Public Property
A city in the Detroit area welcomes the LGBTQ+ community, but the city is not welcoming of pride flags on public property.
Hamtramck City in Michigan banned people from flying pride flags on public poles in a recent meeting, according to PBS News Hour.
Council member, Nayeem Choudhury, expressed that the community welcomes people who identify as LGBTQ+, in spite of the decision to ban pride flags on public property. Choudhury said per PBS News Hour, “You guys are welcome.” She rebutted, “[But] why do you have to have the flag shown on government property to be represented? You’re already represented. We already know who you are.”
The Detroit-area city has five council members – all are Muslim – according to The Hill. The city’s Mayor, Amer Ghalib, is also Muslim. He said, “We serve everybody equally with no discrimination but without favoritism,” per The Hill. According to Detroit Free Press, Ghalib commented during the meeting, “Those people who accused me of hating them, half of my boards and commissions are either LGBTQ, or supporters for LGBTQ.” The Mayor also said he “never fired anybody who belongs to the LGBTQ.”
Councilman Mohammed Hassan introduced the resolution, saying its purpose is to “maintain and confirm the neutrality of the city of Hamtramck towards its residents.” “Please don’t threaten us … I’m the elected official … I’m working for the people, what the majority of the people like,” Hassan remarked, according to The Hill.
Nearly 50% of Hamtramck City’s residents are Muslim, per Detroit Free Press. About 40% of the city’s residents are immigrants, making it the largest immigrant population compared to nearby cities per Detroit Free Press.
The LGBTQ+ community prompted legislative changes in Michigan’s neighboring state, Illinois. BLACK ENTERPRISE reported Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker, signed a law that made the state the first to legislate against the banning of LGBTQ+ books in public libraries. The law will be effective Jan. 1, 2024.