MONTGOMERY — The Montgomery City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution limiting the flying of flags on city property to the City of Montgomery and U.S. flags.
Councilman Brantley Lyons proposed the resolution to maintain a sense of neutrality between the city and its residents.
Supporters of the resolution gave examples of gay pride flags being flown on city property and a Black Lives Matter mural being painted around the Court Square Fountain in downtown Montgomery as to why the resolution was needed.
“I’m trying to protect the city from getting sued by denying the right for any other group to have displays or banners,” Lyons said at the council meeting. “I just figured it would be smart to stay out of it. We’re just going to be neutral all across the board. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish. This is a watered-down version.”
Lyons also introduced a resolution to proclaim September as American Christian Heritage Month at a previous meeting, but the council did not vote on it.
Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said he opposed the neutrality resolution and called it “unneeded and unnecessary.”
“The city has a right to speak in support of any issue. The city reserves the right to address whatever issue that may impact any group of residents,” Reed said at the meeting.
Lyons said the neutrality resolution “shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”
“We did have a display of banners outside city hall for a period of time, and that opened up the door whether it could be ISIS wanting to come fly one or another group wanting to come fly one and people wouldn’t agree with their ideology or political viewpoints or whatever. I just felt like the best one was to drop a neutrality agreement that we don’t pick sides,” Lyons said.
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