In celebration of National Pride Month and the demise of the Defense of Marriage Act last month, members of the LGBT community in Lafayette, Louisiana gathered in Girard Park for the annual Pride in the Park celebration. Local paper The Daily Advertiser was there to cover the event, and ran a photo in the next day’s paper of participants hoisting the rainbow flag that has come to represent the LGBT community.
Ray Green, a veteran of the Korean War, saw the photograph and brought it to the attention of Andy Noquin, a City-Parish councilman, who is now drafting legislation that would outlaw the flying of the rainbow flag — and any other non-government flag — in any public venue.
Green, who served in the Korean War, told the Daily Advertiser that he found the flag offensive:
“I did not go overseas and fight for our country so that we could come back and be subject to something like that,” Green said Friday. “Several of us (veterans) feel that the flying of this flag is a poke in the eye of a way of life.”
Opponents of the proposed ordinance say no disrespect was intended, and were quick to point out that there are thousands of gay veterans who have fought for their country as well.
Green told the paper that while he is not “against the gays,” he is opposed to “the act itself.”
There already exists a firm set of federal laws that govern the flying of the American flag on public property, including a provision that says no flag may fly higher than the American flag on the same property. Organizers of the Pride in the Park event say that no American flags were removed while hoisting their own flag.