They responded by taking down the original flag and replacing it with a larger one on a proper flagpole that adhered to all of the HOA's regulations.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 10, 2023. It has since been updated.
We strive to make the world a place where everyone, irrespective of their sexuality, gender, occupation, or race, is allowed to express themselves. However, one cannot ignore the incidents of homophobia and bigotry faced by the queer and trans community around the world. Jared Deluca, a realtor in Arizona, was also one of the victims of this bigotry when he was fined by the homeowners’ association for displaying a Pride flag outside his home. However, instead of backing down, Deluca took down the original flag and replaced it with a much larger one on a proper flagpole that adhered to all of the HOA's regulations.
In a TikTok video, Deluca and his husband, Tim, can be seen erecting the flagpole and hoisting the rainbow-colored flag, all while taking jabs at the HOA for their discrimination. The text inlay reads, "The HOA fined us for how our pride flag was hung. But no, we did not take it down. We just went bigger." They added, "And yes, the flagpole adheres to design guidelines. So fine this." The couple is seen constructing a regulation flag pole and installing it themselves. The video also shows the couple raising an American flag and a bigger Pride flag than the one they had previously hung on their yard wall. The new flag is not only larger but also more visible to the neighborhood. According to the Delucas, the HOA targeted them for minor violations that they believe were really about their sexuality.
Deluca told BuzzFeed, "We have seen multiple examples within our community of 151 homes where the design guidelines are not being followed with the American flag or various versions thereof." He added, "While we do not have proof that those other homeowners aren’t being cited, the fact that their flags remain leads us to believe that design guidelines are not being enforced with those properties."
Apart from the video that has gathered over 2.4 million views till now, there is another video that explains their situation in a much better way. According to that video, the Delucas had previously received complaints from their HOA about the Pride flag they had displayed on their back wall. When they moved the flag to their pergola, which is a common garden feature, the HOA still had an issue with it and fined the couple, stating that this was an "unapproved change" to their property. Tired of the discriminatory behavior, they decided to make their pride flag comply with the rules instead of taking it down.
The video has been praised for its empowering message of standing up against bigotry and hate. Deluca's decision to challenge the HOA's discriminatory behavior has sparked a larger conversation about the role of HOAs in regulating the lives of residents and the need to push back against oppressive and discriminatory policies. The video has also served as a reminder of the significance of Pride symbols and their ability to foster a sense of community and belonging for marginalized groups.