The California Farmers' Market Association (CFMA) is speaking out Monday after a controversial video surfaced online appearing to show the director telling a vendor, who is gay, that he couldn’t hand out Pride flags.
“This person may have an issue about ‘xyz,’” said Gail Hayden, director of the California Farmers' Market Association at the Livermore Farmers' Market last Sunday. “I’ve been in places for 40 years where they bring out fetuses and put them on ironing boards. My job is to run the market, not to satisfy your political point of view.”
She was speaking to Dan Floyd, owner of Dan Good Cookies. He and Livermore Prides executive director were handing out Pride flags.
“She became very confrontational,” Floyd said. “Very condescending about the entire thing.”
Gail’s daughter and CFMA’s Senior Market manager Kayla Hayden said children were using the flags to have sword fights.
“Little kids poking each other with them, using them as swords,” she said adding that Floyd refused to follow the rules.
In an over-30-page regulation outline it reads, “Petitions and flyer distributions are prohibited inside the market. Information dissemination must occur outside the market or in the ‘free speech zone.’”
“I don’t even care what the flags are for,” Hayden says in the video. “It has nothing to do with anything.”
Floyd said he feels the LGBTQ community was targeted.
“I definitely felt scared, and I definitely felt scared for my business,” he said. “It definitely felt like the flags and what they represent were the target of her tirade.”
But Hayden says it was a big misunderstanding.
“We apologize that he feels singled out,” she said. “We don’t want to single anybody out.”
Floyd said after he received a warning, he won’t be returning to the market.
Livermore Pride is calling for the farmers' market to find a new manager.