Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor lashed out in anger Tuesday after his attempt to violate state law ended up with the LGBT flag he draped over a balcony being taken down.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is also a Democratic candidate for the 2022 race for the U.S. Senate, has a history of putting up flags even though a 2018 law banned flying any banners on state property unless those have been approved by Pennsylvania lawmakers.
The same old dance took place again on Tuesday, with the expected result. This yielded a petulant tweet from Fetterman.
“This flag from my office is technically breaking a law. Yet, it’s perfectly legal to discriminate against the LGBTQIA+ community in PA. This must change. We must *never* stop pushing for Equal Protection Under The Law in Pennsylvania,” he wrote.
“*Deeply* disappointing that just a few hours into #pride month and our flag was already confiscated,” he also wrote.
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) June 1, 2021
Fetterman added a statement blaming Republicans for taking down his banner.
“I can’t say I am surprised, but I am deeply disappointed that the flags were removed, on the literal start of Pride Month. But what’s even more disappointing and angering is that the Republicans in Pennsylvania can quickly come up with legislation to take down the flags, but not to ensure that Pennsylvania law explicitly protects the LGBTQIA+ community from discrimination. This is bull—-,” his statement said.
State employees took down the flag because it broke the rules, according to WTAE-TV.
State Department of General Services employees grabbed the flag during the state Capitol’s lunch hour, said Christina Kauffman, Fetterman’s spokeswoman, according to PennLive.
Fetterman plans on putting up another one, she said.
When Fetterman began putting up banners for the causes he supports, regardless of the ban on them, state workers would take them down and leave them in the office, Kauffman said.
When the dance kept going on and on, they simply confiscated the flags. Kauffman said about 10 banners have been taken.
“Lieutenant Governor Fetterman plays an essential role in carrying out Pennsylvania laws. By his continued defiance of the law that was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Wolf, he continues to set a poor example to Pennsylvanians about what it means to respect the rule of law in this commonwealth,” House GOP spokesman Jason Gottesman said, according to PennLive
Gottesman said the intent of the law was not to deny Fetterman his moment of protest, and that the intent of the bill was to ensure the exterior of the Capitol only promoted nonpartisan causes.
“Members of both parties have flags and posters that they’ve displayed internally, but that doesn’t have to do with the outside of the Capitol, which is a National Historic Landmark and the most visible building in Harrisburg,” Gottesman said, according to NBC News.
In February, Fetterman announced he would run for the Senate next year, according to The Hill.
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