Dozens of people met outside of Salinas City Hall during at ceremony to raise the LGBTQI+ pride flag along with the United States and California flags on June 4.
“We acknowledge and understand the significance of remembering and honoring those who have fought for equal rights,” Mayor Kimbley Craig said.
Some people were holding small pride flags while others were wearing masks with rainbow coloring. Minutes before the ceremony started two friends took a selfie while they waited to see the flag floating outside of City Hall.
One of them was Jacob Agamao, a 38 years old LGBTQI+ Salinas advocate, who says seeing the Pride flag waving with the state and the U.S. flags feels great. “I’m not sure whose idea it was but I know it wasn’t anybody that I know," Agamao says, “that sort of means we are making progress.”
Steve and Karla Lundin, both pastors from The United Methodist Church, were there as well. “I’m here because some of my best friends are gay, lesbian, bisexual and I believe that we need to be loving and supportive of people no matter what their sexual orientation is,” Lundin says.
Agamao says the city has changed since he started his advocacy 20 years ago. “It’s sort of becoming easier to come out, and earlier as well. I think families are a little bit more accepting here now.”
2021 marks the second year in a row Salinas has raised the Pride flag. The tradition began last year when Scott Davis, the first openly gay-candidate for County Sheriff, brought the idea to the council and late Mayor Joe Gunter supported it. The flag was outside of city hall for the first week of June, 2020.