A North Dakota city has decided to temporarily ban all flags displayed in front of city hall after residents strongly objected to a request to raise the Pride flag.
The city council of Minot voted to suspend all non-official flags in front of city hall until they set a new policy in place. Their decision follows a heated debate regarding local LGBT+ group, Magic City Equality’s request to fly the rainbow flag for Pride month.
While the city has flown numerous non-official flags in the past, some residents strongly objected to the request from Magic City Equality. They claimed the rainbow flag did not represent their community and should not be raised alongside the American flag.
In early September, Minot city council member Carrie Evans strongly condemned the residents’ objections to flying the Pride flag. She stated, “I am proudly the first openly elected lesbian in North Dakota. So that is why I am not paying any heed to your crap. We, the people. I’m the people. I live in Minot. I am a taxpayer. I am a person. I get to see myself represented on that flagpole just as much as the people who got the Juneteenth flag last month, as much as the POW/MIA will get later this month.”
“Every single person is entitled to see themselves represented. We are not some group of people who live in San Francisco or Seattle. We are here. We are your elected officials. We are your brothers, we are your sisters, and (sic) don’t tell me you’re not hatred or anger. That’s all I feel. I’ve had to listen to it for days now, as has the mayor and many of my colleagues. It is unacceptable,” Evans continued.
Following the council meeting regarding the Pride flag in Minot, North Dakota, a member of Magic City Equality, Jordan Laducer, said, “As an openly gay male, and an indigenous person, I can say we have all experienced in our own individual shared way what it means to be treated less than human.”
Openly queer woman Riley Held expressed feeling “deeply disappointed by the homophobic display put on by citizens at last week’s meeting.”
In Evans’ September address to one resident, the council member further stated, “This city is big enough for all of us. Me having a flag flying does not take away anything from your rights. But you know what it does for me? It shows me I live in a city that appreciates and embraces me, and my community. And I can live here and feel safe. That’s what it does. I’m sorry that it doesn’t make you feel comfortable, but we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going away!”
Prior to the recent decision, the National Rifle Association (NRA) had been scheduled to fly their flag in front of city hall. Until a policy has been put into place, they will not be allowed to go ahead.
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