Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat serving the state of Wisconsin, issued an executive order this week mandating that the rainbow-colored Pride flag be displayed on the rooftop of the state capitol building for the entire month of June.
The public display of the flag during Pride Month “sends a clear an unequivocal message that Wisconsin is a welcoming and inclusive place where everyone can live without fear of prosecution, judgment, or discrimination,” Evers wrote in his declaration, per reporting from NBC 15 in Madison.
The flag will be flown on top of the east wing of the capitol — directly above the governor’s office. The order also authorizes state buildings and any local jurisdictions across Wisconsin to fly the flag themselves if they so choose.
Sen. Tim Carpenter, the only gay senator in that chamber of the legislature, expressed gratitude for the flag being flown.
“This is a very welcoming sign to many of us, and it signifies a new direction for Wisconsin,” Carpenter said. “We are showing that we are a welcoming and inclusive state and that means a great deal.”
Just 13 years ago, voters in the state passed into law a constitutional amendment that barred same-sex couples from being able to marry. Since that time, voters have shifted in their attitudes, with polls demonstrating nearly two-thirds of Wisconsinites now being in support of marriage equality, according to Madison.com.
Still, some Republican lawmakers expressed disdain with the rainbow flag being displayed by Evers’s order. “Is this any more appropriate than erecting the Christian flag over the Capitol?” questioned Rep. Scott Allen in a tweet.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Allen elaborated on his opposition to the flag, arguing that it “advocates a behavior or lifestyle that some Wisconsin residents may not condone,” according to reporting from The Eagle.
Featured image via Flickr