LGBTQ pride flag raises outcry at Orange County Fair & Event Center meeting

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An Orange County Fair & Event Center committee established to address community relations issues, including diversity, became ground zero this week for a debate on flying the rainbow flag, symbolizing LGBTQ pride, at the Costa Mesa fairgrounds — a controversy officials insist is a nonissue.

“The pride flag is flying at the O.C. fairgrounds, so nothing has changed,” said O.C. Fair & Event Center Board Member Nick Kovacevich, who serves on the newly formed Community Affairs Committee. “At this meeting we’re not going to be doing any sort of voting on the pride flag.”

Multiple rainbow banners, a symbol of welcome for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals, have flown over the 130-acre complex since 2019. But recently, a small group of residents has been requesting their removal, claiming they are noninclusive and cater to special interests.

Although the board of directors has given no indication it will take down the flags, controversy has been brewing.

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