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Governor Evers Needs To Again Fly Gay Pride Flag At State Buildings

June 3, 2020

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Last year a most remarkable and uplifting decision was made by Governor Tony Evers. He took the step during June to fly the gay pride flag at state buildings.  We should make no mistake about the meaning of that decision, or the visual nature of the flag itself.   I am trusting that it will be done again this Gay Pride Month.

At moments like this, I think of gay teenagers in this state who live in rural areas.  I know they need support and assurance that living authentically is truly an option as they prepare for adulthood.  And we can take one small step in that direction by reaching out to them by flying this flag at state buildings.

I was, decades ago, one of those teenagers in rural Wisconsin who would have welcomed an inclusive message of better days to come.  Too many gay teens are not sure the lives they want to live are attainable.  We should, as a state, do things to alert them that living authentically is a path they can take. 

Evers was correct last year to say the flag is an “important visual symbol of support” for the gay community.  He grasped the fact much work over the decades took place to overcome discrimination.  We know it has been a rocky road, and that work continues in our state and nation.

Today we take much for granted with the legal progress regarding gay marriage and anti-discrimination issues.  But travel a few country roads in the far reaches of Wisconsin and there is still a fair amount of anti-gay rhetoric.  There is still a long way to go before many kids who are gay can just ask out who they wish for a school dance or a weekend date.  There is plenty of frustration, stress, and in some cases even legitimate fear of violence for wishing to live as openly as every other person their age in the community.

That is why the decision to fly the gay pride flag over the Capital matters.  It is a clear sign that times are changing and laws have been fashioned to break down barriers and ensure equality.    Gay teenagers who live a long way from Madison need to know there is a way forward, and that government will have their back.

I ask that Governor Evers again raise the gay pride flag over the statehouse and around Wisconsin.

And thanks!

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