Trump to Gays: Not My Rainbow Flag

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

The Rainbow Flag was raised high at the end of Christopher Street on June 14 to honor the late Gilbert Baker. | DANA DEVILLE

What should have been a celebration dedicating the raising of the Rainbow Flag at the Stonewall National Monument in Greenwich Village on October 11 at noon turned into another attack on LGBTQ people by the Trump administration in a week full of such attacks. When it saw the pre-publicity on the ceremony, the National Park Service under Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Department of the Interior worked to certify that the flagpole adjacent to Christopher Park was not technically on federal land so that no Rainbow Flag would be flying on US government property.

The National Park Service’s Barbara Applebaum, who arranged the permit for the event, dropped out as a speaker at the ceremony — her office citing a schedule conflict — and organizers of the event said in a release that the Park Service dropped its sponsorship of the event for which it had issued the permit to veteran gay activist Michael Petrelis.

Ann Northrop, co-host of Gay USA, who will preside over the dedication, said, “This is an unbelievably petty, sleazy, transparent bit of cruelty by the Trump administration. Evidently, we are so filthy to them and their right-wing supporters that they can’t even be associated with a few yards of rainbow fabric.”

In abrupt turnabout, Park Service pulls out of Stonewall Monument ceremony, saying it’s not responsible for flagpole

Veteran gay activist Ken Kidd, one of the main organizers of the event, said, “This is emblematic of what’s happening in the country right now to LGBTQ Americans citizens. We’re being told at every turn — including Trump’s first decision to appoint Pence — that actions will be taken to make us second-class citizens again. The very idea that taxpayer dollars were spent researching a flagpole on a national monument when there are so many other things at stake in the country is an outrage. Some employee of the Park Service or Interior read that Newsweek preview article on this because Donald Trump’s name was mentioned by me. They are so thin-skinned and so bigoted that they were going to spite us and not let that Rainbow Flag fly on federal property.”

President Barack Obama created the Stonewall National Monument last year using his powers under the Antiquities Act. The monument includes Christopher Park across from the Stonewall bar and the Christopher Street block where the Stonewall Rebellion against a police raid of the bar took place over several days in June 1969. It is 7.7 acres in total. In order for the designation to be made, the city had to cede the land to the federal government, which they did after a campaign led by Congressmember Jerry Nadler that enjoyed the full support of neighborhood, city, state, and LGBTQ leaders.

Mindy Anderson, chief of communications for National Parks of New York Harbor, said, “The only federal property is within the fence line of Christopher Park and some of the gardens. The other area is of historical significance because of the history there for interpretation purposes.”

Anderson said that in the course of issuing a permit for this event, the Park Service learned that “the flagpole is not on federal property. It’s a separate monument to the first person killed in the Civil War. It has never been part of the Stonewall National Monument, although it is located there. The flagpole is not managed by the Park Service. We gifted the flag to New York City Parks,” which continues to administer Christopher Park with the Park Service.

“We always knew that the only area that the Park Service managed was the area within the fence line,” Anderson asserted. “The location of the flagpole is not on federal land. In good faith, because of working with the community, we raised the Rainbow Flag. So with our strong partnership with NYC Parks, we gifted the flag to them so they could continue to fly it.”

Anderson said she would be at the ceremony but did not know if any Park Service personnel would speak in Applebaum’s stead.

Maps of the monument, including those provided to Petrelis, do include the flagpole. And whatever other status it may have, it sits within the designated monument area — though not on federal land, the Park Service is now saying. On the Park Service website, the page that had the map for the Stonewall National Monument has been taken down.

Kidd said, “What we had planned with great people from the National Park Service was a lovely, small-town all-American celebration of our rightful place as citizens and of Stonewall’s rightful place in the struggle for equality in the USA. Our plans are to continue with that celebration.”

Officials and activists at the Stonewall National Monument dedication last June 27 included US Representative Carolyn Maloney, successful DOMA plaintiff Edie Windsor, New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Representative Jerrold Nadler, City Councilmember Corey Johnson, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, State Senator Brad Hoylman, and Assemblymember Deborah Glick. | DONNA ACETO

Despite the sudden kerfuffle created by the Trump administration, Petrelis, in a written release, said it “is a victory for our Community to have these symbolic colors flying majestically over our Stonewall, designated as a National Monument by President Obama, even as our LGBTQ brothers and sisters are under attack by the current regime in power.”

The right-wing Family Research Council indicated before Trump was inaugurated that it wanted him to take back the monument designation for Stonewall entirely. The new administration is currently reviewing presidential designations made in the recent past under the Antiquities Act, though no statement has been made about the Stonewall National Monument’s status.

Updated 2:20 pm, September 4, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reader feedback

Adrian Masters says:
Not only an insult to ALL Americans who are gay, but a compelte insult to ALL LGBT+ people around the world! This is an totally unacceptable and unforgivable affront of all human beigns all around the world who suffer from what the President Of The United States of America (POTUS) (or etter said Idiot Of The United States of America (IOTUS)) stands for: exclusion, hate, hatred, discrimination and religiously based disgust! Trump is the one who endorses religious hatred and disgust, not only domestically in the USA, but with his actions of discrimination against a big part of the United States of America he also endorses that persecution and murders of LGBT people all around the world! As POTUS he is supposed to be a symbol of Freedom and Liberty and Equality to the whole world, but instead he has become a symbol of Exclusion, Hate and Discrimination!
Oct. 11, 2017, 11:13 am
Tim says:
Look how much has been spent tearing down monuments in the south, and villonized in the process, I'm actually for equal rights for gays, but you reverse discrimanteon many issues. Gays have made great advances but want more and more, it's not just your world.
Oct. 12, 2017, 3:41 am
Adrian Masters says:
No, it is not only Gay's world only! BUT neither it is straight's world only also! ll gay people want, and demand, is a world that treats gay people equally! Gay people do not want more and more, gay people do not want gspecial thigns, gay people want,a nd demand equality in amongst others taxes, housing, work, social en ecominocal equal rights! The right to share lives with those loved in marriage and not special social structures like contracts that alck legal stnding, gay people want the right to be able to be acknowledged equally to spouses when their partner has been admitted to a hospital, not being excluded from the side of the ebd when their partner is dying! Equality is not wanting or demanding more then others have, being treated in equality is being equal to those who already have the benefits of and under the law! Under the law straights have rights when they are married, gay people lack those rights simply because the law doesn't acknowledge same-sex partners, take inheritage, take homes that were bought! A same-sex couple that has lived togehter for years in one house they bought together and one partner dies, the survivor is forced to move as the family of the deceased is entitled to sell the house! All gay people are asking for, demanding, is to be treated equally, not special!
Oct. 12, 2017, 5:06 am
Adrian Masters says:
As to tearing down monuments in the South I fail to see the relation to gay people being treated equally to straight people! As far as I know tearing down monuments in the South, and elsewhere for that matter, I think that relates to the history of the USA in regard to enslaving people by another group. It relates to regarding a certain group of people as non-humans, a total despicable attitude in my personal opinion! When you are connecting the two groups (Black and Gay people) in regrd as being people who are non-humans, then our discussion is ended. As I don't think that you are regarding anyone as non-humans, nor do I assume that you are saying so. Were Black people were regarded as non-humans in the past, it seems that by certain groups in our communty Gay people are regarded as non-humans in 2017.
Oct. 12, 2017, 5:16 am
Phillip says:
Just a note, I don't believe "reverse discrimination" is a valid term.. discrimination is discrimination, plain and simple.
Oct. 12, 2017, 11:37 am
johnozed says:
Hi Tim. You're quite wrong. Try again, but think first this time. Cheers.
Oct. 12, 2017, 11:48 am
Just Me says:
Let me explain something you seem to be to blind or stupid to understand. Confederate soldiers fought for the right to own human beings. Gay fight, yes fight, as in still fighting for because of the piece of filth in the white house, the right to be treated like human beings. There's no conflict, no hypocrisy, and no one saying the world belongs to gays. This is 1 effing monument for a cause that seeks to protect human rights not take them away and you're getting butt hurt? Dude, you are an idiot.
Oct. 12, 2017, 12:33 pm
Jan says:
Thanks for sending Elyse. Just one more insult from the insulter in chief.
Oct. 18, 2017, 11:27 am

Comments closed.


Schneps Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: