MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Central Valley Pride organization said it's important for the Pride flag to be raised at the county building because visibility and representation matter.
"It's important for equality. It's important for the progression of Merced," said Merced resident, Bre Villegas.
She said raising the pride flag is about giving a voice to people who might be afraid to speak up.
The Central Valley Pride organization also known as CVP, is a non-profit for the LGBTQIA+ community.
It was started three years ago by Jennifer McQueen.
She says she was called to help get a Pride flag raised this June.
"The county employees at the county building here, this year they actually asked the Board of Supervisors if they could fly the Pride flag at the county building. They were met with lots of 'no's' and the board really wasn't willing to entertain the idea," said McQueen.
She said CVP has collected over two hundred signatures from people in the community for a letter, all in support of a pride flag flying high at the county building.
"It just means that we can move about in space freely. That we live in communities that have acceptance. Visibility, it comes in many many forms," said McQueen.
The City of Merced has been raising a pride flag in recognition of pride month for at least the last two years.
County supervisor Rodrigo Espinosa is hopeful for the same unity at the county level.
"We have to support, not just our kids but our families, everyone," said Espinosa.
He called for the matter to be put on the agenda for the next board meeting.
"I support the LGBTQ community. Like I said, we all have family and we got to support our family and friends, right," said Espinosa.
He's hopeful his fellow board members will also be supportive. If that's not the case, CVP leaders say they'll be at future meetings in hopes of changing their minds.
We reached out to all the county supervisors and did not hear back from any who oppose flying the Pride flag.
We do know in other communities; critics have typically argued that it goes against their religious beliefs or that they believe only official government flags should be flown to avoid highlighting specific groups and not others.
You can add your signature to the letter by clicking here.
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