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After Uproar, Landlord Rescinds Eviction Notice Over Gay Pride Flag

After Uproar, Landlord Rescinds Eviction Notice Over Gay Pride Flag

Kevin Kollman and Merle Malterer will not be thrown out of their Milwaukee-area apartment.

Following reports that Oak Creek, Wis., couple Kevin Kollman and Merle Malterer were threatened with eviction for flying a Pride-themed American flag, the men's landlord backed off.

Officials at Bieck Management initially told Kollman and Malterer their flag had to go or they did -- they framed their rationale as one of decoration, though when local reporters visited the apartment complex, several other flags were hanging from other units. The management company also threatened the men in January for hanging a Green Bay Packers flag, but appeared to take greater umbrage at their American flag featuring rainbow stripes. Kollman and Malterer were told they had five days to remove the Pride flag.

After Kollman and Malterer went public -- and indicated they were prepared to fight the matter in court -- Bieck Management sent them a new letter on the matter, according to Patch.

Firstly, the five-day notice issued to you last week on March 25 has been rescinded. No further action will be taken regarding your flag. Your flag may remain.

We will be discussing a new Country Oaks flag policy going forward that allows flags to be flown that meet certain guidelines such as size, placement, location, etc. I would appreciate your input into this new policy, so perhaps we could meet sometime in the near future to discuss. No matter the final policy, we will make every effort to grandfather your present flag in its current location.

Finally thank you for you past, present, and future occupancy at Country Oaks. We will continue to strive to keep Country Oaks a preferred home for everyone.

The management company likely knew it didn't have a leg to stand on -- Wisconsin does not allow housing discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"[The flag is] a symbol of America, it's a symbol of our pride in America being a gay couple here in Oak Creek," Kollmann previously told the local NBC affiliate.

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