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Solvang City Council denies proposal for Pride Month banners

SOLVANG, Calif. - During solvang's city council meeting on Tuesday, the Rainbow House Inc., presented a plan for streetlight banners and crosswalk painting during pride month.

"This is one of the crosswalks we proposed to the city of Solvang to paint rainbow … we weren’t going to change anything … it was going to be professionally done," said executive director Matthew Cavalli of the Rainbow House Inc.

Cavalli and his partner Kiel Cavalli of the Rainbow House Inc., said it was meant to show how Solvang supports the LGBTQIA+ community.

But the proposal was denied by the city council in a three to two vote.

"The testimony was very surprising, we thought they were going to be supportive but some of the things council was saying and some of the things the citizens were was completely baffling," said Cavalli.

The meeting turned into a heated discussion that lasted more than an hour.

Council member Robert Clarke was one of three who voted against the pride displays.

"Whether it be MAGA, tea party … you name it. We shouldn't be having political banners promoting a specific event in Solvang," said Clarke.

He added how he regrets some of what he said during the meeting.

"I have since apologized to the mayor. I sent an email to the city and staff saying I let my emotions get the best of me," said Clarke.

Pastor Chris Brown of Bethamia Lutheran Church in Solvang spoke in favor of the proposal at the meeting.

"I would hope we could work to make this town feel as good to our queer community as it does to people like me," said Brown.

Since the city council voted against the proposal, members of the Rainbow House Inc., are preparing a new proposal with modifications.

"We were advised to reapply and submit our proposals but maybe on a different scale," said Matthew.

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Patricia Martellotti

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