Building Orders Woman to Remove Gay Flag, Allows Neighbors to Keep Decorations

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(EDGE) A woman from San Jose, Calif. is crying foul this week after officials from her building ordered her to remove a rainbow LGBT Pride flag, citing a policy against outdoor decorations, but didn't force neighbors to take down their Christmas decorations.

Earlier this month, Holly Horner received a letter from her landlord at Cherrywood Apartments that explained her Pride flag was in violation of the terms of her lease, which prohibits the hanging [of] plants, chimes, decorations and lights outside, according to New Now Next.

When Horner learned building officials didn't take issue with her neighbor's festive decorations, she decided to fight back. Responding to management, she wanted to make sure she wasn't being singled out for being pro-LGBT.

"I am just writing to confirm that you have submitted violations notices to all units which break this code," she wrote, according to New Now Next. She adds that a number of her neighbors at the have "violated" the lease by putting up holiday decorations, like Christmas lights.

"As long as all of these people also received takedown notices...I am happy to remove mine," Horner said. "There's no possible way you noticed my one little flag and didn't cite them, but just in case, I'm making sure."

Horner said the email was ignored by building officials, so she went to the office to talk about the matter in person. She was reportedly told that management would not be asking neighbors to remove their decorations, however, because they are seasonal.

"Santa flags are OK and gay flags are not OK?" Holly asked the manager. "Yes or no?"

Horner said the manager told her "Yes" but refused to put it in writing. He later added the displays from her neighbors weren't "necessarily Christmas decorations," New Now Next reports.

"Mine's just stripes of rainbow fabric," she said. "It's not necessarily gay."

The manager said only holiday decor is allowed, like American flags on Veteran's Day or the Fourth of July.

Horner then contacted her management company, looking for a clearer answer. The following day, she received a response, saying she needed to take down the Pride flag. Resident services "vehemently [denied] any type of selective enforcement" of the policy that bars outside decor but said the rule didn't apply to "festive decorations for a limited time-period around the winter holidays," according to New Now Next.

Horner figured out a loophole, however, hanging up a Pride Flag that reads, "Happy Holidays." She's also strung up rainbow lights around her home.

According to New Now Next, Horner's story went viral after she posted the photo of her holiday Pride flag to the image-sharing site Imgur. Once Cherrywood Apartments caught wind of the story, they told Horner she was allowed to hang her Pride flag.

"We won!," she wrote last week. "Everyone's decorations (mine & neighbors) can stay through Jan 1, when the complex will rewrite its décor policy & enforce it equally!!!!"


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