UNITED STATES NEWS

Governor raises gay pride flag over Wisconsin Capitol in show of support for LGBTQ+ community

Jun 1, 2023, 11:15 AM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State workers acting on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ orders raised a gay pride flag over the Wisconsin Capitol on Thursday in a sign of support for the LGBTQ+ community as it weathers heightened attacks from conservatives across the country.

Workers raised the progress pride flag during a noon ceremony as Evers and dozens of spectators looked on. The flag will fly over the Capitol throughout the month of June in recognition of Pride month below the U.S. and the Wisconsin state flag.

The Village People’s “YMCA” and Abba’s “Dancing Queen” played from speakers before the ceremony began. Spectators were decked in T-shirts that read “Be Kind” and “You Are Loved.”

The governor told the crowd he was “jazzed as hell” to be there. He acknowledged the LGBTQ+ community is under attack and conservative rhetoric about the community has emboldened hate. Raising the flag sends a message to everyone who wants to belong and find a home, he said.

“You belong here. You are welcome here,” Evers said to applause. “It’s a signal that I will always stand with LGBTQ Wisconsinites, including our trans and gender non-conforming kids, and will fight to protect them with every tool and every power that I have.”

Evers has ordered a rainbow pride flag raised over the Capitol every June since he took office in 2019. Last year, he ordered the progress pride flag raised in lieu of the rainbow flag. The progress pride flag is a variation of the rainbow flag with additional stripes and a chevron pattern that represent LGBTQ individuals of color, transgender individuals and those living with or who have died of HIV or AIDS, according to Evers’ office.

Evers’ decision to raise the flag over the Capitol has been a flashpoint of contention in Wisconsin, a battleground state where Republicans control the Legislature and a Democrat controls the governor’s office. Conservatives blasted the move in 2019, with GOP lawmakers calling it divisive and accusing Evers of advancing a political cause.

The order to raise the flag comes with even more baggage this year as Republicans across the country work to curtail LGBTQ+ community members’ rights. Almost 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year and at least 18 states have enacted laws restricting or banning gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

Robin Vos, the Republican leader of the Wisconsin Assembly, said in April he believes a bill banning trans athletes from competing on women’s and girls’ teams would be introduced again this session.

Anger toward the LGBTQ+ community has spread to the corporate world as well. Target announced in May that it has removed products and relocated pride displays in some stores in the South amid concerns about the displays’ effect on children.

Bud Light is grappling with fallout from its partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, who posted an Instagram video in April of a beer can with her face on it. A cascade of criticism and hate over the video followed, notably among conservative figures. Kid Rock posted a video of himself shooting cases of Bud Light and others calling for a boycott of the brand.

A tweet Evers posted inviting the public to Thursday’s flag-raising was met with some derision. One person responded by asking Evers when he planned to raise “the heterosexual flag.”

Others thanked Evers for standing up for marginalized communities in Wisconsin, promoting equal rights and calling for love and respect for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who hails from Madison and is openly gay, called the anti-LGBTQ+ bills moving around the country “heartbreaking attacks” in a tweet recognizing June as gay pride month.

“It’s going to take all of us this #PrideMonth and every month to counter these right wing attacks so everyone — even a kid like me — grows up knowing they belong, and that kindness and inclusion, not hatred and division, are American values,” Baldwin tweeted.

United States News

Associated Press

Ford recalls over 550,000 pickup trucks because transmissions can suddenly downshift to 1st gear

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling more than 550,000 pickup trucks in the U.S. because the transmissions can unexpectedly downshift to first gear no matter how fast the trucks are going. The recall covers certain F-150 pickups from the 2014 model year. Ford’s F-Series pickups are the top-selling vehicles in the U.S. Ford says in […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Wildfire prompts evacuation orders for rural community in northern California

PALERMO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities in rural northern California have ordered evacuations due to a fast-moving fire threatening the community of Palermo, which is near where the state’s deadliest wildfire struck six years ago. The fire covered about 1 square mile (2.6 square kilometers) in the initial hours Monday after the flames were first reported, […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Former pro surfer known for riding huge Pipeline waves dies in shark attack while surfing off Oahu

A well-known Hawaii lifeguard who was killed in a shark attack while surfing off Oahu’s North Shore was a former professional surfer with acting credits to his name, including a role in one of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. Tamayo Perry, 49, was killed Sunday near Goat Island, Shayne Enright of the Honolulu Emergency […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

More rain possible in deluged Midwest as flooding kills 2, causes water to surge around dam

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) — More storms are possible in parts of the deluged Midwest, where flooding after days of heavy rains has killed at least two people, sent a river surging around a dam and forced evacuations and rescues. Severe storms were forecast for Tuesday afternoon and evening with large hail, damaging winds […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

Lawsuit challenges new Louisiana law requiring classrooms to display the Ten Commandments

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Civil liberties groups filed a lawsuit Monday to block Louisiana’s new law that requires the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom, a measure they contend is unconstitutional. Plaintiffs in the suit include parents of Louisiana public school children with various religious backgrounds, who are represented by […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

A look at Julian Assange and how the long-jailed WikiLeaks founder is now on the verge of freedom

WASHINGTON (AP) — News that the U.S. Justice Department has reached a plea deal that will lead to freedom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange brings a stunning culmination to a long-running saga of international intrigue that spanned multiple continents. Its central character is a quixotic internet publisher with a profound disdain for government secrets. A […]

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Governor raises gay pride flag over Wisconsin Capitol in show of support for LGBTQ+ community