A Historic Day in Fresno

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Fresno City Council Member Esmeralda Soria emceed the event.

By Eduardo Stanley

June 11 was a historic day in Fresno: For the first time, the LGBTQ+ flag was raised at City Hall while hundreds of emotional attendees from all over the Valley cheered.

“Today, we send a message to all residents that we love you, regardless of who you are, where you come from, the color of your skin and who you love,” said Fresno City Council Member Esmeralda Soria, who emceed the event. She is also credited for taking the lead on the issue that in the last few days brought tension within the City Hall.

The proposal to raise the Rainbow Pride flag at City Hall almost came to a halt when Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer offered to do it in a park rather than at City Hall. He later backed off and even attended the event.

The Fresno City Council also presented for the first time the Harvey Milk award to three people: Jeff Robinson from Community Link and Fresno Rainbow Pride; Zoyer Zyndel, former trans leader who died last year; and Jewel Hurtado, Kingsburg City Council member—who recently presented a motion to her city to celebrate the local LGBTQ+ community, but the City Council didn’t vote on the motion because it was not seconded. Now Hurtado faces a recall election by a group of citizens who call her a “socialist.”

Many attendees to the raising of the Rainbow Pride flag at Fresno City Hall expressed that this should be considered a sign of positive political and social changes coming to the Valley.

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Eduardo Stanley is the editor of the Community Alliance newspaper. Contact him at editor@fresnoalliance.com.

All photos by Eduardo Stanley