Hamtramck mayor fires back at critics over city's Pride Flag ban

Amer Ghalib, Mayor of Hamtramck. Photo courtesy of city. 

The mayor of Hamtramck fired back at critics of the city's new law that banned the display of LGBTQ+ flags on government property, saying the city was being subject to "extortion" for choosing to "stay neutral when it comes to flying flags of different groups."

He also chose the opportunity to announce he intends to run for mayor again.

"In the coming days, you will notice strangers demonstrating in your city and disturbing the public peace by provoking you with their actions and behaviors," said Amer Ghalib. "I ask everyone to commit to calmness, wisdom, and not to friction with them, and I also ask everyone not to incite against one another, and not to vandalize private property whatever it may be, and not to trespass on public property or use it for one party against another."

Ghalib made the statement on Facebook over the weekend, days after the city had approved a resolution that outlawed the flying of certain flags.

Ghalib argued the new rule was about "emphasizing the neutrality of civil government and not discriminating against anyone or giving privileges to anyone in the cas of raising flags in public."

The resolution was approved on June 13 following a tense city council meeting. The ruling keeps flags that pertain to religious, racial, ethnic, or sexual-oriented group off of properties like city hall, libraries, and parks.

The only flags allowed include the American Flag, the State of Michigan Flag, Hamtramck's city flag, and the Prisoner of War flag. 

Hamtramck's vote to ban the pride flag enters a larger discourse around culture issues in the U.S. Issues dealing with sexuality in schools and libraries have spilled onto the Internet in recent months. 

RELATED: Hamtramck leaders vote against allowing Pride flag to be displayed on City-owned property

Several political leaders, including the Detroit mayor made veiled references to the new ordinance in statements following the vote. 

In Hamtramck, Ghalib said residents should "be confident that your government will not back down from its positions."

"No matter the pressure and threats from who was young or old on the street was or a government official, and will continue to serve everyone equally and not give special privileges to anyone at the expense of anyone," he said.