Pennsylvania mayor reverses decision to block flying of Pride flag
The Pride flag will be flown over the city hall in Reading, Pennsylvania, after the mayor changed his mind and said he would allow the LGBT+ flag to be raised for the first time.
Last week (July 15), Mayor Wally Scott abruptly decided to cancel the flag-raising event, just hours before it was due to go ahead.
But in a new video posted on Saturday (July 20) on his Facebook page, Scott said he had changed his mind.
“I told them they can put the flag up,” he said. “I just asked them to keep the politics out of it.”
Scott, who is a Democrat, said that his U-turn came about after a “very prominent woman” told him how she realised she was gay and came out to her mother.
The woman told her mother “God made a mistake” during the childhood conversation.
According to Scott’s video, the woman’s mother responded, “Your mother loves you. You’re not a mistake. I’ll stand with you wherever you want to go.”
“What I am interested in is that the people that the flag represents have suffered,” Scott said. “Wow, to remember the very day you broke the news to your mother. You knew as a child that you were a boy in a girl’s body. I still choke up.
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“Your flag is something we should support,” Scott said. “This one here, you hit home. Please put your flag up.”
Flying of Pride flag previously blocked by mayor
Scott previously banned the flying of the Pride flag, telling local media that while he had nothing against the LGBT+ community he viewed displaying the flag as showing support for a “political movement”.
The city is home to around 88,000 people, with an established LGBT+ community and an annual Pride celebration.
The decision was branded “discriminatory” by the LGBT Center of Greater Reading, who hit out at the mayor.
A statement from the group said, “What was supposed to be a proud and historical moment in history today for the City of Reading, the LGBTQ+ community and our allies, turned into a show of blatant, unacceptable discrimination.
“We were told the administration doesn’t support causes. Here’s a bit of education: we are NOT a cause. We are human beings protected by an anti-discrimination ordinance in the City of Reading.”
The Pride flag is now expected to be raised today (July 22).