The Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council has not hoisted this Wednesday, June 28, International LGTBI Pride Day, the rainbow flag that represents this group. “It is prohibited by legislation and a Supreme Court ruling,” the capital city council explained to this newspaper, relying on a ruling issued in June 2020 that prohibited the display of unofficial flags outside public buildings.
This sentence in which the consistory is protected arises as a result of the decision of the same City Council to fly at its headquarters in October 2016, with José Manuel Bermudez as mayor, the Canarian independence flag, that is, the one with the seven green stars , to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of this badge that has been adopted as its own Canary Coalition. The ruling considered “incompatible with the current constitutional and legal framework” the use of unofficial flags, “even when they do not replace, but rather concur, with the flag of Spain and the others legally or statutorily instituted.”
A similar case occurred in Zaragoza after the City Council displayed the rainbow flag on the external masts in 2020. The Superior Court of Justice of Aragon (TSJ) considered in 2022 that the placement of the insignia “does not violate the flag law” or the principle of ideological neutrality because “it promotes positive actions towards the LGTBI movement”, based on the equality law and comprehensive protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation in this autonomous community. In the Canary Islands, the Equality Law promotes respect for free sexual orientation, as well as actions in defense of the collective.
The socialist councilor for Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Florentino Guzmán, explained to this newspaper that the rainbow flag “is not really a flag in the strict sense, since it does not represent a nation, a city, or an institution, which is why I understand that it does not is subject to the regulation of the use of flags”. He adds that the TSJ of Aragon also understood it in this way, in the 2022 ruling, therefore subsequent to that of the TS, which says that it is not prohibited for the rainbow banner to appear on the balcony of the City Hall precisely because it considers that it is not a flag ” .
In his opinion, “what it is about is that there is a Canarian Coalition pact with the PP, with the added presence of Vox in the City Council”, which would explain why this veto of the LGTBI flag is repeated for the second consecutive year .
For the second time
The City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife approved in a plenary session in November 2007 an institutional motion for the hoisting of the LGTBI flag every June 28 to join the celebration of Pride Day and thus support the demands of the collective, recognizing the “need to invest in policies in favor of sexual diversity and non-discrimination of people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity”. Since then, the rainbow flag has been raised every year, except for this 2023 and last 2022, also with a CC government with the PP, plus a defecting councilor from Ciudadanos.
On previous occasions, the rainbow flag has been raised on two masts placed on the sidewalk and not in the official location of the consistory, that is, in the upper atrium of the façade where the flag of Spain, the Canary Islands or the Tenerife island.
On the other hand, this Wednesday the same flag was placed on one of the masts in front of the facade of the Town Hall in Plaza de Santa Ana, the official protocol headquarters of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Council. The same has been done by the Puerto del Rosario City Council. In both cases, their placement has not led to any controversy or questioning of violation of current legislation.