The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to mandate that only county, state and U.S. flags be flown outside county offices.

The 3-2 vote came after impassioned speeches on both sides during the board’s meeting in Santa Ana.

At the center of the debate was the LGBTQ Pride flag and what some believed could have happened if officials approved flying it during Pride month.

“If we do this, we would have no choice but to fly a Christian flag … BLM or Don’t Tread on Me, that’s what we are trying to avoid,” Chairman Donald P. Wagner said during the discussion.

Wagner added that the timing of the vote during Pride month was no coincidence, while one activist called the timing offensive.

More than a dozen demonstrators on both sides of the debate sounded off outside the county administration building during the vote Tuesday.

Activists from the LGBTQ Center of Orange County said that flying the Pride flag is important for visibility and for their community to be recognized as a safe space.

“It is a representation of diversity, it’s a representation of an inclusive community, a community that provides a space that’s safe for people to be who they are and to love who they want,“ Supervisor Katrina Foley agreed. “For me, I think it’s farcical that we’re even having this conversation.”

In a statement after the vote, Foley said the prohibition “sends the wrong message” during Pride month.

“Pride represents diversity, an inclusive community, a community that provides a space where people are safe to be who they are & love who they want. The pride flag aligns with the values we express through our services & County budget,” the supervisor’s statement read. “By taking this rash decision of banning the Pride flag from all County property and our County parks and facilities undermines the work we’ve done as a Board to ensure Orange County is a fair, inclusive, and welcoming place to live, work, and visit for every member of our community.”  

Meanwhile, in neighboring Los Angeles County, the Progress Pride flag was raised over the county supervisors’ headquarters in what officials called a historic first, marking the first time a Pride flag was flown over a county building there.

Officials had unanimously passed a motion to fly the flag during pride month back in March.

Pride flags can still be flown inside Orange County government offices. One of the supervisors who opposed the flag rules, Vicente Sarmiento, has Pride flags flying in the windows of his office and plans to continue doing so.

Elsewhere, the Pride flag has been a point of contention. In Los Feliz, Pride flags were vandalized and stolen from the famed “Shakespeare Bridge.”