NY flag may flap in SF winds to celebrate same-sex marriage in Empire State 

The Castro’s beloved giant rainbow flag may have a companion this weekend.

The Bay Area Reporter informs us that the Merchants of the Upper Market & Castro have granted their approval to fly a New York State flag under the monster rainbow flag that graces the sky near the intersection of Castro and Market streets, this weekend.

The occasion is to celebrate the beginning of marriage equality in New York, whose legislature legalized marriage for gay and lesbians late last month.

The Merchants have gotten flak for frequently rejecting requests to fly the rainbow flag at half-mast, but they unanimously approved a request to fly the New York State flag at along with the rainbow flag this weekend, said Merchants president Steve Adams. The empire state flag that will be flown was donated by openly gay New York Senator Tom Duane, at the request of his friend, San Francisco gay rights activist and blogger Michael Petrelis.
In spite of the approval, it’s not quite a done deal, he said. The flagpole is designed to accommodate the one large flag and they are still waiting on the dimensions of the New York flag to determine whether it would work.

“We will hoist the flag if we can,” Adams said. “It’s designed to hold one great big flag and we’re seeing if we can add one more flag on the bottom.”

Stuart Gaffney, spokesman for Marriage Equality USA, said he anticipates the logistical issues will be worked out, and said a small ceremony is being organized for the flag-raising midday Saturday, perhaps with a performance by the San Francisco Gay/Lesbian Freedom Band.

“Our intention is to raise the flag and have it fly all weekend to celebrate the beginning of marriage equality in New York State,” Gaffney said.


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Katie Worth

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