Rainbow Flag Raised Above City Hall to Celebrate Pride Month

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee raised the rainbow flag above City Hall this morning to celebrate June as Pride month for members of the LGBT community.

Surrounded by dozens of city officials including city Supervisors Norman Yee, David Campos and Scott Wiener, police Chief Greg Suhr, District Attorney George Gascon, Treasurer Jose Cisneros, Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu and many others, Lee lowered the multicolored flag from the mayor’s balcony.

The flag ceremony comes less than two weeks before the city’s Pride weekend starting with events on June 27 and continuing through June 29.

This year’s Pride theme is “Color Our World With Pride.”

San Francisco Pride Board President Gary Virginia presented Lee with a Pride hat at a celebratory luncheon at the mayor’s office. Members of the lesbian group Dykes on Bikes shook the mayor’s hand, while chairs of the Trans March promoted the annual gathering that is held the Friday before Pride Weekend to support the transgender community.

Lee commented on San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s unwillingness to step down from speaking at a March for Marriage rally in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

The rally, billed as a pro-”traditional” marriage event, has been the focus of a group of city and state, faith and LGBT community members, which includes Lee and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. The group of about 70 elected leaders, faith and community organizations oppose the religious leader’s attendance.

The rally is organized by the National Organization for Marriage and Cordileone is one of the speakers along with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.

Cordileone stood by his decision to attend the anti-same-sex marriage rally in a letter written Monday to Lee and other signers of an earlier letter asking him to cancel.

Lee said this morning that he stood by the letter he signed and maintained that it is “inappropriate to attend.”

Lee said he is willing to meet with the archbishop to discuss their opposing views. “I hope his mind remains open,” Lee said.

Lee said some of the ideas and speeches planned for the rally at the National Mall are divisive and emphasize the differences between people. “Some extreme views are hurtful,” Lee said.

This morning, a group of same-sex marriage supporters attempted to deliver 30,000 signatures for a petition urging the archbishop to cancel his appearance.

The group marched to the San Francisco archdiocese offices at 1 Peter Yorke Way in San Francisco late this morning to drop off the petition, however the office doors were locked. The petitioners instead put the signatures through the door.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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