Homophobe tears down Pride flag because it was ‘mocking God’ – but it spectacularly backfires
A man who tore down a Pride flag in his city has said he did it because it was “mocking God” – and he believes his actions are protected under the First Amendment.
Donnie Barrigar pulled the Pride flag down at Watertown City Hall, in New York state, because it conflicted with his religious beliefs.
“Putting up the gay Pride flag [is] mocking God and it’s mocking all the good Christians we have in our community,” Barrigar told WWNY 7 News.
“I’m covered under the First Amendment right. We have the right for protesting and that includes flags. So flags are covered under the First Amendment right for free speech.”
The Pride flag will now be kept up for even longer in Watertown City after it was torn down.
The local district attorney and police department are currently investigating to see if they can bring charges against Barrigar over the incident, which he recorded and shared on YouTube.
Meanwhile, city officials have come up with the best possible rebuke to Barrigar’s actions – they will instead keep the flag up for even longer.
Officials have taken measures to secure the flag to the pole and have decided to keep it up for the rest of the month. It was originally due to fly in the city for just one weekend.
Putting up the gay Pride flag [is] mocking God and it’s mocking all the good Christians we have in our community.
“It’s really just ignorance, intolerance, of one individual because he has a problem,” said the city’s mayor Jeff Smith.
“It’s just shameful that this person can’t put away his personal issues and let the flag fly.
“He professes to be a Christian and part of that is accepting other people for who they are, not putting your will onto them.”
The city’s major says they will ‘stand up’ to him.
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Smith said he hopes prosecutors will press charges against Barrigar over the incident.
“At some point, enough is enough. He’s acting like a grade school bully and it’s enough, we’re going to stand up to him.”
Barrigar’s actions have even been condemned by the Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo, who said he “must be held accountable”.
“I am disgusted by the actions of this individual and he must be held accountable for this repugnant attack against the LGBT+ community,” Cuomo said in a statement.
“I am directing the state police to assist local authorities in further investigating the perpetrator of this cowardly act.”
Barrigar’s YouTube video of him taking the flag down and throwing it into a city drop box has been viewed more than 14,000 times.