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Controversy Brews Over Rainbow Flags In San Francisco

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A rainbow flag hangs from an historic light post in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood.

A rainbow flag hangs from an historic light post in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood.

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A neighborhood organization is at odds with gay rights activists over the future of some rainbow pride flags in San Francisco’s Castro District.

The flags hang from a series of lampposts that San Francisco designated as landmarks in 1991.

Now, the Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association said the fasteners used to hold the flags down are doing damage to the posts and it’s time for the banners to come down.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

But San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano said the rainbow flag is an important symbol.

“The LGBT community is still subject in many countries to execution and harassment and persecution,” he said. “So when you establish that beachhead, it’s kind of the queer Iwo Jima.”

Ammiano said there’s room for a compromise between flag and lamppost supporters.

“One thing about San Francisco is it’s very populist. We all like to have our hands in every pie. Things seem as if they’ll never get negotiated, but there are some very smart people out there,” said Ammiano.

Supervisor Bevan Dufty has come up with a proposal that would allow the flags to stay on the lampposts as long as their fasteners don’t do damage. The Board of Supervisors is expected to consider that proposal next month.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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