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Republican Lawmakers Look to Ban Pride Flags at Stonewall, Other National Sites

Republican Lawmakers Look to Ban Pride Flags at Stonewall, Other National Sites

New House Cuts Might Ban Pride Flags at Stonewall

Republicans have begun targeting LGBTQ-related initiatives in latest round of the national budget process.

Rainbow Pride flags might soon be banned at Stonewall National Monument by Republicans in the House of Representatives as they continue their cuts to target LGBTQ+ funding during the appropriations process. Republicans had earlier proposed additional cuts to LGBTQ+ programs and services in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Republicans in a House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee have introduced a rider that would permit only “official flags” on government buildings and property. Opponents warned the rider would prevent the Pride flag from being flown at U.S. National Park Service sites like the Stonewall National Monument that sits near the Stonewall Inn where the 1969 riots began.

The ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, told E&E News that while the rider did not specifically mention Stonewall or the Pride flag, it was clear Republicans were targeting the LGBTQ+ community with their proposed cuts.

“I am strongly opposed to any effort to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community and as ranking member I intend to fight this provision,” Pingree said in a statement.

House Republicans had previously introduced and moved a last-minute amendment stripping three community projects of funding during committee markup for the 2024 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development spending bill. LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc., William Way LGBT Center, and LGBT Center of Greater Reading were all defunded yesterday’s actions.

The ranking member of the committee, Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the ranking Democrat on the committee, called the GOP move one of “terrorists.”

Rep. Brendan Boyle, whose Philadelphia-area project was defunded, told The Advocate he and many of his colleagues suspect that Republicans just searched for the keyword “LGBTQ” to see which projects to target. Boyle lost $1.8 million of previously approved funding for the William Way Community Center, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts lost $850,000 for an organization that supports LGBTQ housing for older Americans, while Pennsylvania Rep. Chrissy Houlahan lost $970,000 for an LGBTQ+ center in Reading.

Maryland’s Republican Rep. Andy Harris said the services were targeted because of information he claimed to have found on their websites.

“It has social and support groups for seven-year-olds, I guess, to groom seven-year-olds,” Harris alleged regarding the website of the LGBT Center of Greater Reading. “'Cause why else would you have? It’s not for adults; it’s not an adult group.”

Critics of the move said that the moves are predatory against the LGBTQ+ community, and contain a wish list of the hard right.

“They are pretty much putting the kitchen sink of anti-LGBTQ policies into these bills,” David Stacy, vice president of government affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, told The Advocate.

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