10,000 People Want LGBTQ Flag Removed
Petition delivered to Gov. Evers, who ordered flag atop Capitol building for Pride Month.
Ten-thousand Wisconsinites have signed a petition calling on Gov. Tony Evers to remove the gay pride flag flying over the state Capitol.
Evers issued an executive order on June 7 raising the flag in recognition of Pride Month. It was the first time in state history the rainbow flag has flown over the Capitol dome in Madison.
Less than a week later, Wisconsin Family Council started collecting signatures for a petition calling on the governor to remove the flag. According to their website, the council is a nonprofit that promotes “marriage, family, life and liberty.”
Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Council, said flying a flag at the Capitol is a special privilege that should be reserved for flags serving everyone. The POW-MIA flag, which is periodically flown above the Capitol, represents everyone in the state, Appling said.
By delivering the petitions in person Tuesday to the governor, Appling said the group hopes Evers realizes there is a large number of people who oppose the gay pride flag.
“We want him to take the flag down even as early as today,” Appling said.
Steve Starkey, executive director of OutReach LGBT Community Center in Madison, said the flag doesn’t exclude anyone.
“I don’t think that LGBTQ people are a special interest group,” Starkey said. “We are a class of people who have been historically denied the same rights as other citizens. We’ve been denied the right to marry, the right to serve in the military, the right to have basic protections that the general population has. To say that that’s a special interest is a very twisted way of looking at things.”
When visitors come to the Capitol, Starkey said, they can feel welcomed and affirmed by the sight of the flag.
Evers hasn’t commented publicly on the petition.
10K Sign Petition Calling For Removal Of LGBTQ Flag Flying Above State Capitol was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.