Pride flags have flown from flag poles and street lights, windows and balconies throughout June, which is recognized as Pride Month.
One place they weren’t welcome was in an Oakland Park community. Bob Plominski and Mike Ferrari hung a relatively small rainbow flag from their mailbox every day in June. But by June 5, someone complained and the Eastland Cove Homeowners Association sent them a message: take it down or pay a $50 per day fine.
Ferrari and Plominski felt they were being singled out, saying they had posted political signs and other messages in their yard without any problem. Eastland Cove said it was not discrimination and were applying rules that all residents agreed to follow, and that the men could appeal at an HOA meeting. Once the story spread through the community, many of Plominski’s and Ferrari’s neighbors rallied around them, and the association held a special meeting on June 23 to address the issues. In the end, it didn’t take long.
In less than an hour, nearly a dozen of their neighbors spoke up on their behalf, and the HOA unanimously adopted a motion that since the mailbox is a pole permanently in theground, it counts as a flagpole and therefore the flag could stay and all violations andfines were wiped out. Plominski and Ferrari told SFGN, “We feel that with this vote, thecommunity can begin the healing process and celebrate our diversity.”
They say no one in the community complained, but that someone on the board saw theflag and thought it was a violation of community rules. Their story gained internationalattention, including stories in the New York Times, Britain’s Daily Mail, and several major online outlets.
In the end, Plominski and Ferrari say this helps show that they live in a great community with amazing neighbors. “Eastland Cove is our home. We celebrate the diversity of ourneighbors. We are a group of families, some gay, some families of color, and several other ethnicities living and caring for each other.”