Federal Way creating policy to allow gay pride flag at City Hall

VIDEO: Federal Way debating whether to allow Pride flag at City Hall

The city of Federal Way has been debating whether and how to allow a gay pride flag to fly at City Hall.

Federal Way has flown a Seahawks flag before, but the mayor says a pride flag is a political statement and the city needs a policy to allow it to fly beside the flags already here.

"I have transgender friends here and openly gay friends here," said Allison Fine Taylor. "And I have had very frank conversations where they don't feel welcome here."

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Taylor said that is why she proposed a flag for gay pride.

"I just believe that people should feel comfortable in their own communities," she said, "regardless of their lifestyles, as long as they're not hurting someone else."

After 45 years, Seattle's Pride parade the last Sunday in June has become a region-wide celebration.

But Federal Way formally recognized gay pride only this year. The city's mayor, Jim Ferrell, concedes non-governmental flags have flown here before.

"The Seahawks are a lot different than a political cause," said Ferrell.

He spoke by telephone.

"That's why I believed it was time that we come up with an official process and a policy," he said.

The mayor was asked if he thinks being gay is a political cause.

"No, it's not about that," said Ferrell. "It's about flying flags, you know, flags that have either political or social or you know certain causes."

The Federal Way residents we talked to support flying those flags here, too.

"Everybody deserves equality," said Bianca Wallace of Federal Way. "And you should be able to be who you are. So if they want to put a flag in Federal Way, they should go ahead and do it."

The mayor's legal staff drew up a resolution that will leave it to the City Council to approve the flags that will fly here.

Some details still may need to be worked out, but the mayor believes the members will approve the resolution at their meeting Tuesday night.