Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane hoists pride flag above City Hall for first time

The pride flag flies above Spokane City Hall on Monday, June 5, 2017. It is the first time the flag, a rallying symbol for LGBT communities, has flown above City Hall. (Kip Hill / The Spokesman-Review)

The rainbow colors of the gay pride flag are flying above Spokane City Hall this week for the first time in history, city leaders said Monday.

As more than a hundred revelers, some in drag and others holding hands with their same-sex partners, looked on Monday afternoon, the rainbow colors were hoisted between the American, Washington and POW/MIA flags above the entrance to the City Council chambers off Post Street. The pride flag will fly there through Saturday, when the group OutSpokane will hold its annual pride celebration downtown.

“Some of the first marchers wore paper sacks, to disguise their identities, at the first pride,” Michael Jepson, a board member of OutSpokane, told City Council members following the ceremony. Saturday will mark the 26th pride celebration in downtown Spokane. “Last year, we had fireworks, closing 10 hours of a festival.”

Members of the Spokane Human Rights Commission, City Council and Mayor David Condon’s Cabinet appeared during the ceremony, which took place before the regularly scheduled City Council meeting Monday night.

Council President Ben Stuckart, who read a proclamation declaring June a month of celebration for the “lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning and asexual community in Spokane,” told the assembled crowd the ceremony celebrated the inclusiveness of the city.

“It even feels good to live in a country where these same community members across the street can protest with the same tired talking points of exclusion,” Stuckart said to a cheering crowd, directing remarks to a handful of protesters and sign carriers across the street. “While we cast bonds of inclusions, fly the flag of pride and love, and while we march together with a sense of love, belonging and mutual respect.”

This year’s pride parade begins at noon, with a festival to follow in Riverfront Park. A fireworks display will follow at 10 p.m.