Path 27

Capitol flag flap in Wisconsin over gay pride rainbow

Path 27

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Flying a gay pride rainbow flag over the Wisconsin state Capitol for the first time Friday drew backlash from conservatives, including a pair of state lawmakers, who said it was divisive, while Democrats hailed it as a sign of inclusivity.

The flag flap erupted after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers ordered the raising of the flag to recognize June as “Pride Month.” The move drew a fast rebuke from state Rep. Scott Allen, who tweeted , “Is this any more appropriate than erecting the Christian flag over the Capitol?”

Allen, who describes himself on Twitter as “Child of God/Family Man,” said in a follow-up message to The Associated Press that the rainbow flag “advocates a behavior or lifestyle that some Wisconsin residents may not condone. Therefore, it is divisive.”

Democrats praised the raising of the flag, including Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter, one of five openly gay state lawmakers.

“This is a very welcoming sign to many of us and it signifies a new direction for Wisconsin,” Carpenter said in a statement thanking Evers. “We are showing that we are a welcoming and inclusive state and that means a great deal.”

Trending:
Olympian's Overzealous Victory Celebration Ends Up Costing Him More Than He Ever Imagined

Dozens of people stood outside the Capitol’s east wing Friday afternoon and cheered as the flag was raised on a pole just below the U.S. and Wisconsin state flag. Republican state Sen. David Craig joined Allen in criticizing the move.

“The US and Wisconsin flags are flown over us as unifying symbols for all Wisconsinites,” Craig tweeted. “The governor’s action today is in no doubt a statement to advance a cause. The only cause that the Capitol flags should represent is fifty states united in one republic.”

Wisconsin Family Action, a conservative group that worked to ban gay marriage in the state before courts overturned the prohibition, called the raising of the flag “a flagrant abuse of gubernatorial power.”

Julaine Appling, the group’s president, said Evers was proclaiming one group over another.

“Would the Governor authorize the Christian flag to be flown over the capitol or a Nazi flag or any number of other flags representing all sorts of Wisconsin citizens and their beliefs?” Appling said in a statement. “Singling out one group that has inordinate political power is wrong and is disrespectful to, at a minimum, those who take exception to the LGBT agenda.”

Evers, who defeated conservative Gov. Scott Walker in November, said in an executive order that the rainbow flag has become an important symbol for the LGBTQ community and publicly displaying it “sends a clear an unequivocal message” that in Wisconsin “everyone can live without fear of prosecution, judgment, or discrimination.”

The flag was flying above where the governor’s office is located in the Capitol. Evers also authorizes other state government buildings and any jurisdiction of the state to fly the flag in June.

The governor has the sole authority to decide what flags fly over the Capitol, said Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff.

The U.S. flag, the state of Wisconsin flag and a flag recognizing prisoners of war typically fly over the state Capitol. The move comes after Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, the city’s first openly gay mayor, raised a rainbow pride flag over the building that houses city offices — across the street from the Capitol — earlier this week.

Related:
Teenage Boy's Suicide Prompts Calls for Redesign of Popular New York City Attraction

The rainbow flag has been a popular symbol of gay rights since the late 1970s and has been used in various forms at gay pride events for years.

___

Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sbauerAP

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Path 27
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation