A Florida homeowners association has ordered a gay couple to remove a small rainbow flag from their mailbox, but the defiant couple says they have no intention of taking down their Pride Month display.
Bob Plominski and Mike Ferrari of Oakland Park, Florida, say they were issued an HOA citation on June 5 that ordered them to take the flag down by June 15 or pay a $50 daily fine.
Plominski and Ferrari told NBC Miami they were confused by the notice because they have flown the pride flag before and posted political signs during election years in the neighborhood without any problems.
“I got upset,” Plominski said. “We’ve done this before and it’s a simple showing of our pride to the community and it’s up for 30 days. We were in shock they were going to do that.”
Bob Brusseau, president of the Eastland Cove Homeowners Association, said the five-person board sent the couple a violation notice after one of the association’s members complained based on a rule that only allows residents to display U.S. or military flags in the neighborhood.
“It’s in the document, and you can be sued,” he explained to NBC News.
“Fines actually won’t be enforced until around 30 to 40 days from the issuing date of the citation,” according to Brusseau.
“Personally, I’ll vote against any fine,” he said, adding that two board members didn’t even wish to pursue the case, but the other three members did.
Plominski and Ferrari have a right to appeal the association’s decision before a grievance committee.
“I really think the citation is because it’s a gay pride flag and someone in the neighborhood is offended, simple as that,” Ferrari told NBC Miami.
The couple said they will continue to proudly fly their pride flag until the end of the month.
“It’s going to stay up until June 30,” Plominski said. “We as a community worked really hard to earn and get to where we are today. We’re not going to back down on this one.”