Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, Democrat John Fetterman, is refusing to remove the pro-marijuana legalization and LGBT flags that he hangs from his second-floor balcony at the state Capitol.
A provision slipped into lame-duck budget legislation on Friday would ban flags not approved by lawmakers from flying at the state Capitol.
In an interview, the irreverent Fetterman said he didn’t know about the provision until told by a reporter on Friday.
But, he said, he had no intention of taking them down — unless lawmakers pass legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use and make it illegal for employers and others to discriminate against LGBT people.
“I would be delighted to take them down if they give us that,” Fetterman said. “That’s the reason I’m flying them.”
The Republican-controlled Legislature has blocked legislation on both fronts.
“Are they going to send the gay pride police to come and seize them? I didn’t know we had that division in the state police,” Fetterman said.
A spokesperson for Republican House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff would not say whether the new provision had anything to do with Fetterman’s flags, only that “it has to do with providing for uniformity and decorum for what is displayed on the outside of the Capitol.”
Even before he was elected in 2018, Fetterman was something of a media darling and progressive hero.
The Harvard-educated 51-year-old gained notoriety as the mayor of a small, poverty-ridden steel town near Pittsburgh.
He is also impossible to miss: The 6-foot-8, bald, tattooed and glowering Fetterman is most often seen wearing cargo shorts and high-top shoes.
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