Surfside hosts flag-raising ceremony in honor of Pride Month despite mayor’s objection

SURFSIDE, Fla. – The Town of Surfside held a flag-raising ceremony on Friday in honor of Pride Month and its LGBTQ+ community despite opposition from Surfside Mayor Shlomo Danzinger.

The town opted not to raise the flag last year after Danzinger said it would open Pandora’s box of similar requests from religious groups, political advocates and self-proclaimed Satanists requesting their flags to be flown.

The ceremony featured remarks from town-elected officials and was held on the flag poles of the Surfside Community Center at 9301 Collins Avenue.

The mayor was asked in June 2022, what he thinks the odds are that a satanic organization wants to fly a flag.

“Well now that this is on Twitter, the odds have improved,” he said. “This has precedence. They do go around looking for cities that do invocations so they can speak. They are doing it to disrupt. Surfside is in the media, it has eyes on it and the odds have increased.”

Despite receiving opposition from Danzinger, Surfside commissioners voted 3-2 earlier this year to designate June as Pride Month and have the Pride flag raised.

Local 10 News spoke with LGBTQ+ supporters who said they were proud to have this moment,

“It is amazing. It’s a big deal after last year that we couldn’t raise the flag and we are proud to do it now,” said one supporter.

Commissioner Fred Landsman attended Friday’s ceremony in support of the Pride flag and the LGBTQ+ community.

“A lot of people came out to voice their opinions which is what democracy is all about,” he said.

Danzinger was not at the event but released the following statement.

“It’s important to note that we live in a community where over one-third of the population is Jewish, yet the Town has never sponsored an Israeli Day Parade or a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony,” he said. “Additionally, over two-thirds of our population is Hispanic, yet we have never had a Hispanic Day Parade. The list goes on.”

Other town leaders said the ceremony will continue to be held to show how welcoming and diverse the Surfside community is.

“Pride Month is all about acceptance and inclusion,” Surfside Town Manager Hector Gomez said. “This symbol of solidarity for the community demonstrates what a welcoming and diverse place Surfside really is.”

If you would like to read more LGBTQ+ and Pride Month-related stories, please visit Local 10′s “Celebrating Pride” section by clicking here.

About the Authors:

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.