Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Andy Naquin says he was not against the gay pride flag being flown in Girard Park last week per se. He says he is against any flag unrelated to government flying in that location.
"I never once mentioned any one particular organization. I addressed as totality that every private organization should be limited from flying their flag," says Naquin.
Moving forward from the gay pride flag raising in Girard Park on June 30, he is looking into an ordinance that would limit the use of private groups from flying their flags on any publicly-owned flag poles. A move he says was spurred by angry phone calls from area veterans.
"They felt it [the gay pride flag raising] was a disrespect to this country and a disrespect to them and I'd have to agree with that," says Naquin.
Amanda Kelley, the president of Acadiana OUTspoken Alliance, which is the group who hoisted the gay pride flag in Girard Park, says there was no disrespect intended.
"It's not like we went and took down a flag in order to raise ours instead. You know there wasn't anything there when we raised it up," says Kelley.
Ray Green of Lafayette, a 79-year-old Korean War veteran, was one of the constituents who called Naquin about the gay pride flag in Girard Park. Green says he wants to know who gave the OUTspoken Alliance the ‘okay' to raise their flag.
"I checked with Gerald Boudreaux at the Parks and Recreation Department and they did not have permission," says Green.
But, Kelley says Green's allegations the group did not have ‘the go ahead' from Parks and Recreation are not true.
"We did have regular contact with Parks and Recreation Department to make sure we had their permission. They knew what the event was, they knew the meaning behind the flag and why we wanted to raise it," says Kelley.
Naquin says he is unsure of whom, if anyone, gave the OUTspoken Alliance permission to fly their flag to celebrate the fall of DOMA. But, he says, in any case they are setting a possibly dangerous precedent.
"What would happen if the Catholics were to fly a flag or a pro-life flag was flown or KKK flag was flown or even Taliban flag was flown? Who would you say ‘no' to when you open those doors?" says Naquin.
"If you allow the gay pride flag to be flown, then you got to by all rights allow the KKK, the Muslims and anybody else," says Green.
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