June is Pride Month. President Donald Trump and other Republican lawmakers do not want anyone to notice.
While Trump tweeted out a perfunctory message, for the third straight year he opted not to issue a proclamation. He and his administration have opposed the Equality Act and have systematically worked to repeal regulatory protections for LGBTQ Americans. And on Friday, NBC News reported that his administration has rejected requests from multiple U.S. embassies to fly pride flags in commemoration of the celebration.
According to the report, diplomats with the U.S. embassies in Brazil, Germany, Israel, and Latvia “are among those that have requested permission from Trump’s State Department to fly the pride flag on their flagpoles and have been denied.” Such permission was routinely granted during the Obama administration.
At the same time, Wisconsin’s state capitol building flew a rainbow flag on Friday for the first time in the Badger State’s history. This move was ordered by Gov. Tony Evers (D), who took office in January after he defeated anti-LGBTQ Gov. Scott Walker (R) last November.
State Rep. Scott Allen (R) slammed the move, comparing it to a religious symbol. “Is this any more appropriate than erecting the Christian flag over the Capitol? #religious,” he tweeted.
— Scott E. Allen (@scotte_allen) June 7, 2019
The separation of church and state guaranteed by the federal and Wisconsin state constitutions do not apply to flags celebrating people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Pressed by the Associated Press to explain his opposition, Allen claimed that the pride flag “advocates a behavior or lifestyle that some Wisconsin residents may not condone. Therefore it is divisive.”
.@scotte_allen explains his opposition to flying the gay pride rainbow flag over state Capitol:
"It advocates a behavior or lifestyle that some Wisconsin residents may not condone. Therefore it is divisive." https://t.co/QfzzOLRXyP
— Scott Bauer (@sbauerAP) June 7, 2019
State Rep. Mark Spreitzer (D) told Madison’s Capital Times that he found it kind of baffling” that his colleague “seems to think being LGBT is a religion.”
The Trump administration has banned most transgender people from serving in the military, rolled back nondiscrimination protections for trans and non-binary people, and removed references to LGBTQ people on government websites.
The Republican National Committee’s platform expressly opposes LGBTQ equality.