June is Pleasure Thirty day period and an illegal flag displayed outside the house of Pennsylvania Capitol on Tuesday marked the situation.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman selected to mark the commencing of this thirty day period celebrating LGBTQ culture and rights by when all over again, exhibiting a Pride flag on the balcony of his point out Capitol office environment, irrespective of realizing a regulation exists prohibiting it. A regulation passed in 2020 bars the display of any flag other than the American, Pennsylvania or POW/MIA flags on the exterior of the Pennsylvania Capitol.
”The LGBTQIA+ flags that I fly from my office are technically breaking a legislation,” he mentioned in a statement. “Yet, Pennsylvania regulation does not explicitly protect the LGBTQIA+ local community from discrimination. This should change. We ought to never ever prevent pushing for equivalent defense below the law in Pennsylvania and across the state.”
Fetterman’s flag was confiscated by Section of Common Solutions staff more than the lunch hour even though staffers have been at lunch, explained Christina Kauffman, Fetterman’s spokeswoman. She claimed he has made it very clear he intends to substitute it with another one particular.
“I simply cannot say I am shocked, but I am deeply upset that the flags were eliminated, on the literal start off of Pride Thirty day period,” Fetterman claimed in a statement. “But what is even much more disappointing and angering is that the Republicans in Pennsylvania can immediately occur up with laws to take down the flags, but not to make certain that Pennsylvania regulation explicitly protects the LGBTQIA+ neighborhood from discrimination.”
The 2020 flag banning regulation was initiated by Property Republicans in response to the lieutenant governor’s displaying of flags on his balcony specifically over the key entrance to the Capitol promoting LGBTQIA+ rights and leisure cannabis legalization.
The Republicans claimed at the time the flag ban is supposed to “develop decorum and uniformity for what is displayed at the Capitol.”
Fetterman tweeted back then that he discovered it “kinda flattering that they modified Pennsylvania regulation just for me.”
But the passage of that legislation has not stopped the lieutenant governor from displaying banners carrying symbols of concerns that he has championed even in advance of his election as lieutenant governor in 2018 – only to have associates from the condition Division of Common Expert services pay a visit to his business office to eliminate the flags.
Originally, Kauffman reported the Basic Companies workforce taken off the flags from the balcony and left them folded in the lieutenant governor’s workplace. When Fetterman persisted in displaying them, she mentioned Standard Solutions staff started confiscating them. So considerably, she explained about 10 flags have been taken.
“Lieutenant Governor Fetterman plays an necessary role in carrying out Pennsylvania rules. By his ongoing defiance of the regulation that was passed by the Common Assembly and signed by Governor Wolf, he proceeds to established a weak example to Pennsylvanians about what it indicates to respect the rule of law in this commonwealth,” mentioned Household GOP spokesman Jason Gottesman on Tuesday.
Fetterman, who officiated the very first identical intercourse relationship in Allegheny County in 2013 when it was even now banned in this state, explained the way to get him to quit displaying his flags is for the Typical Assembly to move regulations legalizing marijuana and extending the state’s anti-discrimination protections to the LGBTQIA+ neighborhood.
Legislative endeavours to do both have been released in various sessions but fail to acquire considerably traction.
* This post has been up to date to consist of a statement from Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.
Jan Murphy could be attained at email@example.com. Adhere to her on Twitter at @JanMurphy.