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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Slog's Annual Pride Flag & Space Needle Poll

Posted by on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 8:55 AM

As you don't remember, because your mind was blown, the Space Needle blew every gay mind two years in a row—2010 and 2011—when they flew a pride flag. Gays squealed in gay unison: "That corporation loves gay things." But then, last year, there was no pride flag. "GRRRRRRRRR!!!!" growled literally every homosexual in Seattle (except for a large percentage of gays who did not care).

Which brings us to this year. Every gay-rights group in the universe has issued the press release below with their marching orders for the Space Needle Corporation, saying that they want the Space Needle to be nice to their workers and fly a pride flag:

Ten lesbian, gay, bisexual, trangender and queer (LGBTQ) organizations have banded together to urge the Space Needle Corporation to fly the Rainbow flag, annually, during the month of Pride and to settle a fair contract soon that includes living wages, continued benefits, job security and strong anti-discrimination language for sexual orientation and gender identity. The sponsoring organizations are: LGBTQ Allyship, PrideFest, Entre Hermanos, Ingersoll Gender Center, The NW LGBT Senior Care Providers Network, Pride At Work AFL-CIO, Social Outreach Seattle, The Seattle Lesbian, Trans Lives Matter and Gender Justice League representing tens of thousands of LGBTQ and allied individuals.

I got a call from Allyship director Debbie Carlsen, who said she was disappointed after meeting earlier this month with Space Needle CEO Jeffrey Wright. When the groups asked him to fly the pride flag, Wright "said no," Carlsen says. "For our icon to be representative of Seattle's progressive values is a must."

I do not think strapping a flag to a stick is "a must." I think this crusade—impudently demanding that this company do a thing every year forever—is "a must not." But I'm always wrong. To the polls!


Comments (27) RSS

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yelahneb 1
I think it should be flown. It's just a symbol, to be sure - but it's a good one, and a prominent one, that things are changing for the better.
Posted by yelahneb on April 17, 2013 at 9:09 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 2
It irks me that they'll gleefully fly the 12th Man flag during football season, but they have to be hectored and goaded into putting up a pride flag.

Whatever. Just build additional Space Needles and put all the flags up.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 17, 2013 at 9:18 AM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 3
the rainbow lights over the arches at the quest century link field are cooler.
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on April 17, 2013 at 9:25 AM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 4
@4 now that i think about it, it's 'lights ON the arches'
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on April 17, 2013 at 9:27 AM · Report this
thatsnotright 6
Why don't they move the Pride parade away from Seattle Center and take their money with them? That's what corporations listen to, money. These folks are political naifs. Have the Parade end at Myrtle Edwards Park, give the city the money.
Posted by thatsnotright on April 17, 2013 at 9:46 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 7
@3 - Tuba Man Memorial Stadium.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 17, 2013 at 9:52 AM · Report this
You with all the effort/money their putting into their save the views of the space needle campaign, they'd be more inclined to give people reasons to view the space needle as part of the Seattle community, not fighting with the Seattle community.
Posted by j2patter on April 17, 2013 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 9
I tend to come down on the side of not caring, but then I think of the troll, and of our many perpetually angry commenters. They need issues like this to keep them occupied, so I say FLY THAT FLAG!!!
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on April 17, 2013 at 9:58 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 10
Is it approval you are seeking? Gay citizens don't need any ones' approval. Now there is equality under the law. If they fly the Rainbow Flag take it as a nice gesture. If they do not, it's not a slap nor a rejection that matters (if it is rejection instead of benign indifference). Time to move on.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on April 17, 2013 at 10:02 AM · Report this
With all the money/effort they're putting into their save the views of the space needle campaign you'd think they'd be giving the Seattle community more reasons to view the space needle, not getting into a fight with a big beloved part of the Seattle community.
Posted by j2patter on April 17, 2013 at 10:03 AM · Report this
Bah I thought my first post didn't post, sorry
Posted by j2patter on April 17, 2013 at 10:04 AM · Report this
JensR 13
Wait why do you guys care about the flag instead of the fair contract part? Its a piece of cloth, the contract means more worker security.

But still, it pretty much show what they think about LGBT people that its an automatic "no". But its their loss
Posted by JensR on April 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM · Report this
Baconcat 14
They flew Macklemore's flag, so...

...wait, Macklemore has a flag for some reason.
Posted by Baconcat on April 17, 2013 at 10:18 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 15
@14 - There's a Macklemore coup in the works. Don't tell anyone.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 17, 2013 at 10:25 AM · Report this
Sub Pop also gets a flag on their birthday, which I think is pretty cute.
Posted by Totalpukoid on April 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 17
I'm trying to care about this issue and if I was younger I probably would. But now, I can get married, not lose my job or apartment because I'm gay....

You know...I sorta don't give a shit at this stage of the game
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on April 17, 2013 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Space Needle Corp. couldn't give a shit about the GLBTQ community, much less progressive liberal values. They only care about $. In 25 years living in Seattle, I've been up the SN once, and thought it incredibly tacky. Now, when visitors come to town, I take them to the water tower in Volunteer Park (higher, 50% more view, free!)
Posted by cheakamus on April 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM · Report this
Cornichon 19
The flag controversy is just one example of the Space Needle's perspective of privilege. They lobby against upzoning, an important tool for a developing metropolis, as if an unobstructed view of their privately owned building were of greater civic benefit than affordable housing and increased density (which would lead to better transportation, etc.). When it suits them, they're all laissez-faire, but they fight hard to protect their (perceived) commercial interests.
Posted by Cornichon on April 17, 2013 at 11:29 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 20
They should fly it from the state ferries, actually.

Would do wonders to get more tourists.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 17, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Simply Me 21
I would think the Space Needle would want to fly the flag to serve their unrelenting need to be seen. I mean just think of all the eyes that will look at the Space Needle with the flag on there. They may even be able to abandon their plan to destroy progress in Seattle because their ego will be adequately stroked.

Think of all those eyes. They'll be looking at you, Space Needle. It is what you wanted, isn't it?
Posted by Simply Me on April 17, 2013 at 12:21 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 22
@21 - Great, now I'm picturing the owners of the Space Needle as Norma Desmond.

"I'm still big! It's the buildings in South Lake Union that got small!"
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 17, 2013 at 12:23 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 23
On the one hand, I have no use for Space Needle Corp. On the other hand, I find it petulant to demand that the flag be flown every year for an entire month and especially making that demand in conjunction with actually important things, such as labor protections for LGBT workers. Way to keep your eyes on the prize.
Posted by keshmeshi on April 17, 2013 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Simply Me 25
@22 exactly
Posted by Simply Me on April 17, 2013 at 2:46 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 27

If the Space Needle was operated or owned by the city, then yes, I'd demand they fly the flag. But it is a private company, despite its symbolism as a city icon. I thought it was cool that they flew it a couple of times before, and it would be cool if they'd do it again, but I'm not going to demand that any company kowtow to the gay community like that.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on April 17, 2013 at 3:54 PM · Report this
This year more than ever. R74, SCOTUS decisions, for or against. This year there has been visible progress towards equality. Let me see the flag!
Posted by CapitalHillNewbie on April 18, 2013 at 12:04 AM · Report this
FYI *thatsnotright*, the Space Needle is a privately-owned, very tall restaurant adjacent to city property. While the pride parade can start and end via a combination of wherever the hell they want to AND the city essentially issuing a permit to do so, the Space Needle does nothing but derive valuable tourist dollars (literally millions across hotels, restaurants and attractions for Pride weekend, they get a piece of that action).

Interestingly, the pride flag was originally commissioned by none other than one of the tourist bureaus in the city, as a direct attempt to pull in more 'gay dollars' (whatever those are. was Ben Franklin gay? #dontthinkso). So, when they fly the flag, it was for tourism. But without a strong policy of 'we only fly these things either once EVER, or if we repeat it, it's because fuck you, we are a private company, not a 600-foot flagpole.

So flying the flag naturally contributes to tourism. Not flying it contributes to staying the hell out of politics, except not, because they forgot to tell everyone Sorry, Once ONLY. The really benevolent fundraiser for the second year also looked like a hostage situation to some, which was super-awkward.

I can envision them now, stubbornly refusing to be bullied. What they need is someone to come along and say exactly the right set of words to unlock this mess. Then they can get back to being awesome (for everyone! not just the 'straights' and the tourists).
Posted by sinchilde on April 19, 2013 at 12:48 AM · Report this
skyeyes 32
I don't think we (the gay community in Seattle) are entitled to having the flag flown at all. We have this poor mindset that when something awesome happens (like it did in 2011 and 2012, even though there was a $50K extortion at hand in '12), it should ALWAYS happen. People can be angry if they want, but maybe the Space Needle should just fly the US flag, or perhaps the Washington State flag, or hell, even City of Seattle flag. Who cares. If this is what anyone bases the success or failure of their Pride celebration on, then they're probably not in the best mindset to begin with.
Posted by skyeyes on May 20, 2013 at 4:15 PM · Report this

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