Pride Month: What HOAs Should Know About Flag Displays

By Dawn Bauman
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June is Pride Month. It’s a time to recognize the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community, to celebrate their diversity, and for those who support LGBTQ+ rights to wave their pride flags high.

Those celebrating Pride Month who live in a community association may not know of specific restrictions on flag displays contained in the governing documents before flying the pride flag. In addition, community association board members and managers enforcing these restrictions may not know that June is Pride Month. It may be time for another conversation about what the community wants as it relates to displaying flags.

The First Amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech. However, this only applies to restrictions on speech by the government, not to limitations by private parties such as community associations. When an owner purchases a home in a community association, they agree to be bound by the covenants that exist to reflect the preferences of the homeowners in the neighborhood. Several states have laws governing political signs and/or flags, and these statutes would take precedence over community association restrictions unless otherwise stated.

During Pride Month, CAI urges the continued support of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 giving all individuals the right to be free from housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability. CAI also supports further policy that prohibits housing inequality, including prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

As always, we applaud communities that bring their residents together to help celebrate and embrace their differences. Communities around the world bring people together to create a sense of community, neighborliness, and belonging.

For more information about CAI’s policies on displaying the U.S. flag, as well as other flags and signs, visit www.caionline.org/publicpolicies.

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Dawn Bauman

Dawn Bauman, Senior Vice President of Government & Public Affairs. As CAI’s lead advocate for federal and state legislative and regulatory affairs, Dawn works with volunteer leaders throughout the country serving on CAI legislative action and government affairs committees to advocate for strong and sensible public policy for America’s community associations.