Via press release, we learn that California Congressman Alan Lowenthal, a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, had a visitor enter the Congressman’s office and angrily attack the Pride Flag outside the congressman's office.
Members of Congress have permanent fixtures outside each office to accommodate three flags, with two spaces going to the American flag and the member’s state flag. The third slot is used for a personal selection of the Congress member.
The flags are arranged so that they follow all laws regarding the display of the American flag.
From Lowenthal's Facebook page:
Yesterday, an individual barged into my office in Washington and made a disparaging remark about the fact that I fly the Pride Flag outside my office. He then went back out into the hallway outside my office, removed the flag from its holder, threw it to the ground, and stomped on it. He told my staff that the flag was "disgusting, immoral, and goes against everything that is right."
The Pride Flag is more than just a symbol of pride for the LGBT community--it stands for love, understanding, and unity.
As a Vice Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, I have flown this particular Pride Flag since 2013 in solidarity with the LGBT community. I have committed to fly it proudly until LGBT people have all of the same rights I have and until our laws protect LGBT people from discrimination and violence. Sadly, the violent and disturbing behavior of this individual yesterday demonstrated that we aren't there yet.
His actions yesterday--intended to intimidate and demean--only make me and those that love freedom and justice want to fight that much harder. We simply MUST pass the Equality Act now! Introduced by my colleague, Rep. Cicilline, the Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Congressman Lowenthal has been an LGBT community advocate and ally for more than four decades, sponsoring numerous pieces of legislation over the years in support of LGBT rights.
He has participated in the Long Beach Pride Parade since its inception, including the very first parade in 1984 where some parade members were forced to wear bulletproof vest due to death threats.
The flag that was stomped on has been on display outside the Congressman’s DC office since 2013, and visited the steps of the Supreme Court with the Congressman when the ruling on marriage equality was announced.
Yesterday, a man threw #PrideFlag outside my DC office 2 floor-stomped on it-called it disgusting & immoral. We must pass the #EqualityAct!— Rep. Alan Lowenthal (@RepLowenthal) March 16, 2017