clearn.png
Sunday September 15th, 2019 6:20AM

Capitol flag flap in Wisconsin over gay pride rainbow

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

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."

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.

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

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ethiopian PM visits Sudan in bid to mediate crisis
Ethiopia's prime minister has met with Sudan's ruling generals and protest leaders in a bid to revive negotiations amid a crackdown on demonstrations that has killed more than 100 people since Monday
1:15PM ( 19 minutes ago )
The Latest: Chan, Dodig win 2nd French Open mixed title
Latisha Chan of Taiwan, Ivan Dodig of Croatia win French Open mixed doubles for 2nd straight year
1:04PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Cop who shot 911 caller sentenced to 12½ years in prison
A Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder has been sentenced to 12½ years in prison for the shooting of an unarmed woman who had called 911, and he apologized in court for "taking the life of a perfect person."
1:04PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Detroit man charged in deaths of gay men, transgender woman
Authorities say a man charged with fatally shooting three people and wounding two others at a Detroit home had targeted them because they were gay or transgender
12:51PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Federer can't handle wind or Nadal in 3-set French Open loss
Nadal moves into 12th French Open final, blowing by Federer on windy day
12:48PM ( 46 minutes ago )
White House says tariffs 'going forward' as talks continue
The White House says President Donald Trump's threatened tariffs on Mexico are "going forward" as planned Monday even as negotiators to try to stave off Trump's latest push to force Mexico to stem the flow of Central American migrants into the U.S.
12:42PM ( 51 minutes ago )
AP National News
Pence: US 'encouraged' by Mexico's proposals as tariffs loom
Vice President Mike Pence says it's 'for the president to decide' whether Mexico is doing enough to avoid the 5% tariffs he's threatening to impose on Mexican goods
11:16AM ( 2 hours ago )
US, Russia blame each other in near-collision of warships
The U.S. and Russian militaries have accused each other of unsafe actions after an American guided-missile cruiser and a Russian destroyer came within 165 feet (50 meters) of each other in the East China Sea
11:05AM ( 2 hours ago )
FDA targets vaping 'influencers' for online promotions
The Food and Drug Administration is sending warnings to companies that inappropriately pushed their e-cigarette formulas online through paid social media influencers on Facebook, Twitter and other websites
10:56AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online National News
US hits Iran with new sanctions; petrochemicals targeted
The Trump administration is hitting Iran with new sanctions that target its largest petrochemical company for providing support to the Revolutionary Guard Corps
11:32AM ( 2 hours ago )
GOP officials rehash old fight against Volkswagen union vote
Top Tennessee Republicans are predicting economic harm if workers at Volkswagen's car assembly plant in Chattanooga vote to unionize
10:37AM ( 2 hours ago )
Greece: Athens mosque likely to open in September
Greece's education and religion minister says the country's first state-sponsored mosque is likely to begin operating in September, about three years after its construction was approved by parliament
9:56AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Beto O'Rourke stumps with his wife amid struggles with women
Beto O'Rourke alienated a lot of women mere hours into his presidential run, releasing an announcement video in which his wife sat wordlessly by his side and joking repeatedly about her raising the couple's three young children "sometimes with my help."
12:29AM ( 13 hours ago )
Utah man accused of threatening to kill members of Congress
A Utah man is accused of making threatening phone calls to the U.S. Capitol, threatening to kill or harm members of Congress
5:02PM ( 20 hours ago )
Texas governor signs bill allowing more armed teachers
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law several measures meant to boost school security, including ones that will allow armed teachers in schools and increase mental health services for students
3:56PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Ethiopian PM visits Sudan in bid to mediate crisis
Ethiopia's prime minister has met with Sudan's ruling generals and protest leaders in a bid to revive negotiations amid a crackdown on demonstrations that has killed more than 100 people since Monday
1:15PM ( 19 minutes ago )
The Latest: Chan, Dodig win 2nd French Open mixed title
Latisha Chan of Taiwan, Ivan Dodig of Croatia win French Open mixed doubles for 2nd straight year
1:04PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Cop who shot 911 caller sentenced to 12½ years in prison
A Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder has been sentenced to 12½ years in prison for the shooting of an unarmed woman who had called 911, and he apologized in court for "taking the life of a perfect person."
1:04PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Undone by Brexit, May steps down as Conservative leader
British Prime Minister Theresa May has formally stepped down as Conservative Party leader, defeated by the Brexit conundrum
1:01PM ( 32 minutes ago )
US orders end to Turkey's involvement in F-35 program
The Pentagon has ordered an end to Turkey's involvement in the F-35 fighter jet program as of July 31, if Ankara continues its purchase of a Russian missile defense system
12:57PM ( 36 minutes ago )