Originally published on Advocate.com January 07 2004 1:00 AM ET
A controversial flagpole specially installed to fly a gay pride flag at Lakewood City Hall in Ohio will be removed, according to the Plain Dealer Reporter. At the urging of newly elected city councilman Ryan Patrick Demro, council members voted 6-0 on Monday night for a resolution calling for Mayor Thomas George to take down the pole. George said he would comply, noting that he had supported an earlier resolution to fly the gay pride flag at City Hall. Following protests from some members of the community about the resolution, former mayor Madeline Cain had the special pole installed to separate the flag from Old Glory, said George.
Initially, Demro proposed moving the flagpole to the city's refuse plant at 12920 Berea Road. But he later amended that to allow the mayor to decide where to install the pole. The reinstalled pole can fly only the American flag, according to the council's resolution. Demro, a Republican, said last night in an interview that he promised some residents during his fall campaign that he would work to remove the pole. Demro said he fears special-interest groups will ask him and other city officials to fly controversial flags. He said he already has been asked to fly a flag representing an anti-abortion group that endorsed him in a campaign for state representative. "I don't believe in flying these flags," said Demro. "It's plain and simple."