Rainbow Bright Idea

Miami Beach finally allows pride flag to fly

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The right to fly a flag may often be taken for granted, but Miami's gay community is swelling with pride after finally winning the freedom to display the rainbow-striped flag.

Flying a flag without a permit has long been a violation of city code in Miami Beach, but the city commission has just passed a measure to give an exemption starting in April.

"The problem is the businesses just went out and bought a flagpole and in an expression of their pride, put up the flag," City Commissioner Victor Diaz told the Miami Herald.

The businesses have been fined and forced to take flags down in the past, something the city hopes the new law will avoid.

The new rule isn't completely free of bureaucracy. Any resident or business wishing to fly the pride flag will still have to fill out an online form.

"We're solving it in the short term with the temporary permit," Diaz said. "But we need to find a more permanent solution."

At least one Commissioner expressed his doubts.

"I only have to laugh 'cause I see the four of you standing there, none of whom are the four who are going to be at the permit counter when some poor business owner comes and says 'I'd like to fly the flag,'" said Commissioner Saul Gross.

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