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Republicans are trying to ban trans and Pride flags from flying at public buildings

Patrick Kelleher January 27, 2020
Alabama senate trans

Trans flag. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty)

Republican lawmakers in Iowa are trying to ban all unauthorised flags from flying at public buildings after a trans flag went up at the Iowa Capitol building.

Senators Roby Smith and Jake Chapman brought forward the draft bill which would see public buildings, including schools, only allowed to raise US and Iowa flags. The bill would also allow the national league of prisoner of war/missing in action families flag to be flown.

The bill was written after the trans flag was raised at the Iowa Capitol building in November to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Sioux City Journal reports.

Republican claims raising of trans flag was ‘completely disrespectful’ to military.

The flag was raised after LGBT+ organisation Iowa Safe Schools requested it. But some officials were unhappy about the decision, claiming it failed to follow protocol.

Senator Chapman said raising the trans flag was “completely disrespectful to the brave men and women who served in the military.” He apparently said these words without a hint of irony, perhaps unaware that trans people were banned from serving in the US military last year following orders from Donald Trump.

My understanding is that there were some internal policies that perhaps were violated during that demonstration but I think it’s important that at least my constituents know that we’re taking this serious.

“I heard from numerous constituents who were very concerned about the precedent that’s being set,” he added.

“My understanding is that there were some internal policies that perhaps were violated during that demonstration but I think it’s important that at least my constituents know that we’re taking this serious.

“It’s what the flag represents and the fact that it was taken down and another flag was flown instead of the American flag and the Iowa flag and the POW/MIA flag, I think at a lot of Iowans find that to be very offensive.”

The bill has been slammed as a form of ‘reactionary politics’.

However, another state official said that the three flags were not taken down and that the trans flag had been flown on a different pole.

Democrat senator Tony Bisignano hit out at the bill as “reactionary politics”.

“When we react and we try to write a law to outlaw, restrict, intimidate — we’re going in the wrong direction and that’s the way I feel about this bill,” he said.

The trans flag was flown over the Iowa Capitol building for between three and five minutes in November. Despite its limited time there, it stirred the anger of many Republicans.

Speaking at the time, Skyler Wheeler, a state senator who represents Iowa’s 4th district, took issue with the trans flag being flown in Des Moines and said it is a form of “Rainbow Jihad” and accused LGBT+ people of pushing “their beliefs” on those who “don’t agree with them.”

More: Iowa, trans flag, transgender day of remembrance, United States

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