Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democratic Senate candidate, said Tuesday that state employees have again taken down his LGBT Pride flags at the behest of Republicans.
“I can’t say I am surprised, but I am deeply disappointed that the flags were removed, on the literal start of Pride Month,” Fetterman said in a statement.
“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. This is bullshit,” he added.
The Republican-dominated state legislature in November included a provision in its budget bill that called for banning the display of non-approved flags at the state Capitol, including the LGBTQ- and transgender-rights and pro-marijuana flags Fetterman hangs from his office balcony.
The provision only allows for the American flag, Pennsylvania’s state flag or flags honoring missing American soldiers to be displayed at the state Capitol or on its grounds.
Following the passage, state employees reportedly removed the flags from Fetterman’s balcony and stowed them away in his office. He quickly replaced the flags and said he would continue to do the same if they were taken down again.
In February, he replaced the pro-weed and LGBTQIA+ rights flags with bigger ones.
In a tweet on Monday, Fetterman said that flying the flag from his office balcony is “technically breaking a law,” even though “it’s perfectly legal to discriminate against the LGBTQIA+ community in PA.”
“This must change,” he added.
Happy #Pride2021 !— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) June 1, 2021
This flag from my office is technically breaking a law. Yet, it’s perfectly legal to discriminate against the LGBTQIA+ community in PA.
This must change.
We must *never* stop pushing for Equal Protection Under The Law in Pennsylvania. ️️⚧️ pic.twitter.com/3gqN8ByA0r
Fetterman in February formally announced his candidacy for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat in 2022.
His campaign later announced that it had raised $3.9 million in the first quarter of 2021.
—Alicia Cohn contributed.