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City Bans All Flags Over Pride Flag Debate

Magic City Equality flies a rainbow flag in front of the city hall in Minot, North Dakota

The move comes after last week’s headline making exchange between a queer council member and a homophobic constituent.

A city in North Dakota has temporarily banned all flags displayed in front of city hall following strong objections to a recent request to fly the Pride flag. KFYR TV is reporting the city council of Minot voted to suspend flying all non-official flags in front of city hall until they develop a new policy regarding the issue.

"Things would seem to have escalated around the community a bit," Minot Mayr Shaun Sipma said Monday at the most recent city council meeting.

The issue began when Magic City Equality, an LGBTQ+ group in Minot, requested to fly a rainbow flag in front of city hall in honor of Pride Week. The city has flown other non-official flags in the past without objections. The NRA had been scheduled to fly their flag in front of city hall prior to the council's decision.

Some residents strongly objected to Magic City Equality's request at a city council meeting earlier this month, claiming the Pride flag didn't represent their community and shouldn't be flown alongside the American flag. City Councilmember Carrie Evans famously went off in an epic take down of one homophobic constituent who had rudely objected at the meeting.

"If you're not aware, and I think a lot of people in this room are not aware and have come here just because this was a 'gay issue,'" Evans explainef. "I am proudly the first openly elected lesbian in North Dakota, so that is why I'm not paying any heed to your crap."

At Monday's meeting, there appeared little middle ground between the two sides.

"As an openly gay male, and an indigenous person I can say we have all experienced in our own individual shared way what it means to be treated less than human," Jordan Laducer, a member of Magic City Equality, said.

Minot resident Liz Hoppman said her husband was a "Vietnam veteran" with a "deep respect for our country, state, and city" and that "we both feel it's not appropriate to fly other flags in front of city hall or other government buildings."

Saying she was speaking not just as "an openly gay woman" but also as a "born and raised citizen of Minot," Riley Held said she was "deeply disappointed by the homophobic display put on by citizens at last week's meeting."

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