For the next six days, 49 rainbow flags will adorn the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, Fla., after a three-year battle by gay rights organizations. U.S. district judge Henry Lee Adams Jr. ruled Tuesday against the city in a suit filed by the Reverend Ruth Jensen and Vicki Waldon of the St. Augustine Pride
Committee, Equality Florida, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The city rejected a request last month to fly the flags for a week of gay pride events.
Adams said the organization would suffer "irreparable harm and loss if they are prohibited from flying their rainbow flags during the week of the annual gay pride celebration." The pride committee must pay permit fees of $295. Jensen, who has been fighting for three years to fly the flags, was told by
city officials that the bridge was reserved for groups of historical significance. She was pleased with the ruling, and the flags were ready for display starting Wednesday. "It goes to affirm for us the importance of following through and not accepting a decision that we don't believe is right," she said.
In its most recent request to fly the flags, the pride committee told city commissioners that the flags would commemorate the 1566 murder of a gay man in the St. Augustine area. City commissioner Errol Jones said the city did not plan to appeal the judge's ruling. (AP)