The Torrance Metropolis Council this week formally adopted a decision that successfully bars Pleasure rainbow flags and different shows of conflicting spiritual, racial or political views from flying on municipal road gentle poles, until they’re a part of a city-sponsored occasion.
The decision, which handed unanimously, stipulates that solely banners of city-sponsored occasions, in addition to authorities and navy flags, are allowed on gentle poles in Torrance’s public right-of-way.
The choice drew the ire of some Torrance group members.
“I discover it embarrassing to be part of a metropolis that doesn’t need something to do with Pleasure in any manner in any respect, not even to permit different companies or districts or areas to make the most of the polls for inclusivity and equality,” Tiffany Mitchell, proprietor of Black Raven Tattoo in Previous Torrance, stated on Thursday, Aug. 24.
Mitchell is part of a gaggle made up of Torrance enterprise house owners and residents who wrote their very own Pleasure Month Proclamation earlier this yr after town declined to situation one.
Former Torrance Mayor Pat Furey, who had supported Pleasure proclamations when he was in workplace, referred to as the decision “unintended penalties by the group that was very, very adamant concerning the LGBT+ signage.”
“It’s so very troublesome to permit one group to place signage up after which to not enable another person,” he stated Thursday. “I actually perceive the authorized causes for it, however it’s unlucky.”
The Metropolis Council’s transfer stems from months-long group protest after authorities staff eliminated LGBTQ Pleasure banners from downtown gentle poles in June. The Downtown Torrance Enterprise Homeowners’ Affiliation initially put these banners up.
The incident led to confusion and questions from group members about which gadgets can adorn city-owned gentle poles. Torrance officers, for his or her half, have stated any decorations on public property require metropolis approval.
Feelings ran excessive throughout a June 20 Metropolis Council assembly. Whereas some individuals stated something aside from authorities flags may very well be divisive, others accused town of selectively implementing a largely unknown and unobserved regulation.
However finally, the council directed metropolis staffers to craft a coverage that mirrors Southern California Edison’s pointers.
There are at the moment 10,066 gentle poles in Torrance, the overwhelming majority of which — 9,988 — are owned by SCE, based on a workers report.
Below the corporate’s pointers, the one issues that may go on its gentle poles are “non-electrified site visitors regulating indicators, American flags, Neighborhood Watch indicators” or indicators for city-sponsored occasions.
The banner coverage adopted the council adopted on Tuesday, Aug. 22, additionally requires anybody who needs to hold a banner on a city-owned gentle pole to submit a revocable banner utility and to get approval from the council. The applying should be submitted at the least 60 days previous to the proposed banner set up date, based on the decision.
An applicant might want to pay $229 for a banner allow utility and $212 for agenda preparation. There may also be a value for the banner set up. The charges are good by way of June 30, 2024, as they are going to be reassessed yearly every fiscal yr.
The banners or flags should even be flown on gentle poles in streets the place companies are positioned and never inside residential areas. Solely metropolis workers or a metropolis approved agent have the correct to put in, keep or take away the show.