Watch: Livermore Farmers Market suspended in wake of LGBTQ Pride Flag video

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The twice weekly Livermore Farmers Market has suspended operations in the wake of its management company resigning after a viral video captured one market executive asking a gay, married vendor not to hand out rainbow flags representing LGBTQ Pride Month.

Dan Floyd, the Dan Good Cookies baker confronted by California Farmers Market Association Director Gail Hayden while handing out pride flags from a booth at the June 7 market, also decided not to return to the market once operations resume. “I no longer feel safe under the direction of the new management company, and I cannot in good conscience continue to operate under their leadership,” Floyd said in a statement before CFMA’s resignation.

Officials who announced the market suspension on Facebook also distanced themselves from the controversy, adding that Livermore Downtown Inc. is working to replace CFMA with a new management company: “The occurrence at the market that led to CFMA’s resignation is not reflective of Livermore’s values of inclusion and respect,” they said in a statement.

The confrontation recorded on video by Livermore Pride Executive Director Amy Pannu was published on YouTube on Monday. In it, Hayden takes off her mask and tells Floyd: “This is Disneyland!” and “The mission of the market is not your political point of view!”

One day later, Floyd said Dan Good Cookies has sold out amid an outpouring of support.

“We’ve had folks coming from Stockton, Los Gatos and San Jose. I think I sold more cookies today than I do in a week.” He puts that number at 10,000 cookies. In one day.

Livermore Pride issued a statement after the organization published video of Floyd and Pannu’s viral moment, suggesting that the incident means the market “may not be a safe space for LGBTQ+ vendors.”

“The hostility toward both Dan and Amy over something as simple as a small free flag being handed out optionally to Market consumers suggests that they were targeted because they were representing the LGBTQ+ community,” the statement said. “Nothing else explains the outright vitriol and weighted language used in this recording.”

As for what he’d like to see happen at the Livermore market as it moves forward, Floyd said he hopes a “more inclusive” management company takes over.

Calls made and emails sent to officials with Livermore Downtown Inc., the non-profit tasked with replacing the CFMA as the farmer’s market operator, and a message sent to CFMA Executive Director Gail Hayden were not immediately returned. CFMA has managed at least 10 other farmer’s markets throughout the South Bay and East Bay for 25 years.

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Author: Dylan Bouscher, Jessica Yadegaran