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Florence will allow LGBTQ groups to repaint rainbow symbol on crosswalk

The groups will possibly redraw the pride flag on the crosswalk next week.

Posted: Jun 20, 2019 3:29 PM
Updated: Jun 20, 2019 4:12 PM

Just one week the city of Florence washed away a pride month celebration, the city and LGBTQ community have reached a resolution.

Florence City Councilmembers unanimously voted to allow Equality Shoals and the Shoals Diversity Center to use chalk paint and redraw their rainbow flag on the Mobile Street crosswalk.

"You can only grow by learning from your mistakes," said Stuart Ausborn, a volunteer with the Shoals Diversity Center.

Ausborn formed the Paint the Pride committee and drew on the crosswalk last week, using chalk paint. A short time later, city employees washed it away because the group did not have proper permits. Ausborn and others were under the impression they did have verbal confirmation to draw the flag.

"It is a welcoming symbol for our city, for our country, and for our community to welcome others into it," said Ausborn.

After a series of meetings between LGBTQ groups and Florence Mayor Steve Holt, they will now be allowed to create their flag again for Pride Month.

Holt released this statement saying, “Embracing a culture which accepts and celebrates diversity is vital to the progress of the Shoals community.”

Other businesses in downtown Florence are showing their support for Pride Month by painting the rainbow flag. Ausborn said he's proud of his city and community for taking a bad situation and making it good and showing others how they can all be a united front.

"I feel like the city council most definitely had played their part in making things right and were very thankful for our time spent with them. It's one big great community of Florence and the Shoals and were all happy to be citizens here and so I am always proud. I can't wait to bring people here all the time," said Ausborn.

Ausborn said they will be checking the weather to see when they will get to work. He said it could be sometime next week before they redraw the flag on the crosswalk.

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