PA government agency confiscates lieutenant governor's gay pride flag after he flew it in violation of state law

PA government agency confiscates lieutenant governor's gay pride flag after he flew it in violation of state law
John Fetterman in 2009, Wikimedia Commons

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2022 U.S. Senate race in his state, has been a strong supporter of gay rights — and he recently displayed a gay pride flag on the balcony of his office in Harrisburg (Pennsylvania's state capitol) in honor of Gay Pride Month. According to Penn Live reporter Jan Murphy, that display was a defiance of a Pennsylvania law passed in 2020.

Murphy reports, "Lt. Gov. John Fetterman chose to mark the beginning of this month celebrating LGBTQ culture and rights by once again, displaying a pride flag on the balcony of his state Capitol office, despite knowing a law exists prohibiting it. A law 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."

In an official statement, Fetterman said, "The LGBTQIA+ flags that I fly from my office are technically breaking a law. Yet, Pennsylvania law does not explicitly protect the LGBTQIA+ community from discrimination. This must change. We must never stop pushing for equal protection under the law in Pennsylvania and across the country."

Fetterman's gay pride flag, according to Fetterman spokesperson Christina Kauffman, was removed and confiscated by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.

In his official statement, Fetterman said, "I can't say I am surprised, but I am deeply disappointed that the flags were removed, on the literal start of Pride Month. But what's even more disappointing and angering is that the Republicans in Pennsylvania can quickly come up with legislation to take down the flags, but not to ensure that Pennsylvania law explicitly protects the LGBTQIA+ community from discrimination."

Fetterman is seeking the Democratic nomination to compete for the U.S. Senate seat presently held by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, who has decided against seeking a third term in 2022.

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