Watch: Colorado Gay Couple File Free Speech Suit Over Pride Flag Order

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday February 25, 2021

A married gay couple in Whispering Pines, Colorado, were ordered to take down their LGBTQ Pride flag. They've responded by filing suit on the basis their freedom of speech has been violated.

As Denver news channel CBS 4 notes, "There have been stories of homeowners' associations ordering flags to be taken down, but in Whispering Pines, it is a quasi-governmental entity, not an HOA."

Said homeowner David Pendry, "I don't think I should have to seek approval from the government for what is acceptable speech."

Pendry had posted a picture of the flag flying outside the home he shares with his husband. But Big Brother was watching: He soon got a notice, CBS 4 reports, "from the local metropolitan district's management company" telling him that he had to take the flag down.

The district's "regulations allow American flags to be flown all the time and flags for sports teams only during the event," the CBS 4 story noted. "There is a separate category for flags that require special approval."

Pender contends that amounts to "the government infringing on the First Amendment," which, he said, is "very different from an HOA which can make arbitrary rules and doesn't have the same accountability."

David Rhodes, who lives the same neighborhood, indicated to CBS 4 that he agreed with Pender, saying, "I think everyone has the right to fly the flag they want to fly and if they are LGBTQ, it's fine also."

The ACLU is representing Pendry.

With Pendry's suit having been filed, the news report said, it will now be up to a federal judge to "decide whether to grant Pendry's request for a temporary restraining order to block this district from enforcing" regulations regarding the flying of the Pride flag and displaying other banners and signs.

Watch the CBS 4 news clip below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.