US: County Office causes controversy by refusing to allow rainbow flags during gay pride
A county office has come under heavy criticism for refusing to allow rainbow flags to be flown from its building during the city’s gay pride week.
The Monroe County Office building in Rochester, New York, said it was not “county practice to fly ‘issue based’ or ‘advocacy’ flags” on the building.
Maggie Brooks, a Monroe County Executive, argued the case as several county legislators chose to defy the ban and display rainbow flags anyway, reports the Huffington Post.
County Chief of Staff Joe Rittler, flew a rainbow flag outside his office. He was then accosted by a member of Sheriff’s Office personnel, assigned to the building, and told to take it down.
When he refused, the security guard took the flag anyway, but Rittler went and bought another, which remained there for the rest of pride week.
Carrie Andrews, Legislature minority leader, awaited security the second time a flag was put up, and said: “Although they were able to remove the flags using the sheriff’s department, the LGBT community can rest assured that we will not be bullied. A new Rainbow Pride Flag is now proudly flying outside our office.”
Despite Brooks not allowing for rainbow flags to be flow initially, she did say that 19 July was “Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley Day”, in the county.