Law will allow wider variety of flags to be flown in Arizona HOA communities
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Thanks to Gov. Ducey signing HB 2010 on Monday, Arizonans living in HOA communities will soon get the chance to fly a wider variety of flags on their property.
Flags supporting first responders, law enforcement, and the military were included in the bill. But other popular flags, like pride flags and BLM flags, remain subject to HOA approval. “This is just another example to me and to members of our community of the good-old boys system,” Peoria resident Nickole Langston said.
Langston ran into issues last year with her HOA when she had flags supporting her black heritage in her front yard. But she doesn’t plan on taking those flags down anytime soon. “I’m going to display my flags as I have displayed them proudly,” she said. “If you don’t like my flag, come and take it.”
When Gov. Ducey signed HB 2010 into law, Rep. John Kavanagh, who sponsored the bill, felt a sense of justice being served. “There are a small number of HOAs that are very unreasonable and very abusive,” he said.
Both Republicans and Democrats supported the bill, which Kavanagh says is another step towards protecting First Amendment rights. “The legislature created these HOAs or at least gave the authority to builders to create these HOAs,” Kavanagh said. “And we’re not going to allow them to run wild.”
Degnan Law Group attorney David Degnan says HOA’s determining what’s ok and what’s not is a slippery slope. “The association could be sued for selective discriminatory enforcement by targeting one selective group or flag, and not the other,” Degnan said. “And so, the association has to really walk a tightrope.”
If Kavanagh had his way, all flags would be acceptable as long as they are not obscene or promoting illegal activity. But he says such a bill would be too broad to be passed by both the House and Senate. “There are some members who believe that because people voluntarily agree to join an HOA when they purchase their property, that they should be civilly bound by the contract they sign,” Kavanagh said. “And that it’s not the job of government to interfere with a private contract.”
A spokesperson for Governor Ducey told Arizona’s Family that the governor is a strong supporter of first responders, so signing this bill was an easy decision.
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