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In Florida, Festivus Displays LGBT Pride

Festivus pole

A Florida activist will put up a Festivus pole -- as featured in the sitcom Seinfeld -- in rainbow colors at the state capitol.

Any fan of Seinfeld knows that Festivus is "a holiday for the rest of us," and this year, at least in Florida, that definitely includes LGBT people.

The Humanity Fund, a nonprofit group promoting freedom of speech and religion, especially the separation of church and state, as well as LGBT rights, has won permission to put up a Festivus pole in LGBT Pride rainbow colors at the Florida state capitol in Tallahassee, Towleroad reports.

The Humanity Fund is a real organization, unlike a similarly named Seinfeld creation, the Human Fund. It installed a Festivus pole, without the rainbow colors, at the Florida capitol in 2013, when the presence of a Nativity scene there brought complaints about state endorsement of religion and applications for a variety of alternative displays.

"In December of 2013, I felt that the religious symbols prominently showcased in the Florida State Capitol were implying that certain viewpoints had state endorsement," blogger and Humanity Fund executive director Chaz Stevens of Deerfield Beach, Fla., wrote on the group's website. "To protest this violation of our rights, I decided to force Florida to allow me to erect a Festivus Pole ... with the same prominence given to the manger and menorah."

This year he was inspired to do the pole in Pride colors and top it with a disco ball in reaction to efforts to thwart the Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling, he wrote. "We could not stand by while religious fanatics denied people their basic human rights and dignity, and watched in abject horror as [Kentucky county clerk] Kim Davis, and her followers, flout the law of the land," he noted. The rainbow poles -- he hopes to put them up at various sites -- will be a means to "collectively and jubilantly protest this harassment," he added.

On Seinfeld, Festivus was created by Frank Costanza, the father of one of the show's lead characters, George Costanza. Observed annually on December 23, it is marked by "feats of strength" and "airing of grievances."

The Florida Department of Management Services approved the rainbow Festivus pole Thursday, according to Towleroad. Built from empty beer cans, it will be on display in the capitol's rotunda December 21 through 28.

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