State Watch

Wisconsin couple allowed to keep pride flag after facing threats of eviction

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The couple in Wisconsin that was threatened with eviction for flying a gay pride flag outside their home won’t have to remove it to continue living on the property. 

A letter sent to Kevin Kollmann and his partner, Merle Malterer, from the owner of the apartment complex in Oak Creeks, Wis., said that the five-day notice issued to them last week had been rescinded, according to NBC News

“No further action will be taken regarding your flag. Your flag may remain,” the letter said. 

{mosads}Kenneth Bieck, the chief executive officer of Bieck Management, which owns the apartment complex, also said that he would begin discussing how to administer a new policy regarding the flying of flags at the complex. 

Kollman told NBC News that they received the letter from Bieck the same day they had drafted a response to the previous eviction notice they’d received. The couple had planned to fight it.

“This really means a lot to the LGBTQ community,” Kollmann said to the news network. “Pride and love win every time.”

Kollman and Malterer reportedly received an eviction notice in the mail last week that gave them five days to leave their unit if they did not remove their gay pride-themed American flag from their apartment’s patio. 

The notice had said the two breached their rental contract by hanging the flag. Kollmann told NBC News that he had complied with a similar request in January after hanging a Green Bay Packers flag. 

Kollman and Malterer, who have rented a unit at Country Oaks Apartments for six years, told NBC News that this was an example of “selective prosecution.”

The two also said that between 10 and 12 other apartments at the complex have American and police-themed flags flags hung from their units. 

“My flag is not doing anything,” Kollman said. “It’s just a symbol of who we are, where we came from and our love for the United States.” 

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