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Spanish town to ban LGBT flag after far-right Vox takes power

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MADRID (Reuters) – An eastern Spanish town of 6,000 residents will ban the rainbow-coloured flag representing the LGBT community from public buildings, after the far-right Vox party came to power there in recent local elections.

Vox won the most votes in Naquera, located some 30 km (19 miles) north of Valencia, but its leader Ivan Exposito had to secure a deal with the mainstream conservative People’s Party (PP) to become mayor, as the party lacked an outright majority in the town assembly.

A pact between the two parties, published on Vox’s local Facebook page on Monday, sets out a series of policies the mayor and his allies agreed to carry out during their four-year term. The 15th point was a ban on displaying the LGBT flag on public buildings.

It also included pledges to cut taxes and red tape, a freeze on funds for separatist or pro-Catalan organisations, and renaming campaigns against gender-based violence as “campaigns against all violence”.

Spain will hold a snap general election on July 23 and the agreement between the PP and Vox in Naquera, and similar deals in other towns across the country, underlines a lurch to the right by the mainstream PP on “culture war” issues dear to Vox, such as LGBT rights, feminism, migration or regionalism.

Naquera’s Socialist Party, which came in second in the election, protested against the ban by posting a rainbow flag on its Twitter account and called on the town’s residents to hang the flag from their windows, balconies or terraces.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Sharon Singleton)

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