California

A Pride Flag is flying over California’s Capitol. Gavin Newsom says it’s sending a message

See rainbow flag fly on the California Capitol flagpole

In commemoration of June as LGBTQ pride month, the rainbow flag was flown above the California state Capitol on Monday, June 17, 2019. It was proclaimed to be the first time by the Governor’s office, but the flag had been flown once before in 1990.
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In commemoration of June as LGBTQ pride month, the rainbow flag was flown above the California state Capitol on Monday, June 17, 2019. It was proclaimed to be the first time by the Governor’s office, but the flag had been flown once before in 1990.

For the first time in state history, the flag of LGBTQ Pride flies above the California Capitol.

The Rainbow Flag, which sits below the U.S. and California state flags, will fly til July 1.

It’s no coincidence that this historical act — mirroring similar ones in Colorado and Wisconsin – comes amidst a President Donald Trump administration ban on the flying of such flags at U.S. embassies.

“In California, we celebrate and support our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community’s right to live out loud – during Pride month and every month,” Newsom said in a statement Monday. “By flying the Pride flag over the State Capitol, we send a clear message that California is welcoming and inclusive to all, regardless of how you identify or who you love.”

Vice President Mike Pence, who has a history of opposing LGBTQ political efforts such as marriage equality while governor of Indiana, defended the administration ban.

“When it comes to the American flagpole and American embassies and capitals around the world, having the one American flag fly is the right decision,” Pence said.

The rainbow flag routinely flew outside many embassies in recent years. The Pride flag was flown during Pride Month as part of then-President Barack Obama’s advocacy for LGBTQ rights, according to the Washington Post.

Several U.S. embassies, including ones in South Korea, India, Chile and Austria, have defied the administration edict and flown the Pride flag, according to Huffington Post.

Monday’s historical rainbow flag raising is the first time it’s flown above the Capitol. In previous years the flag was hung from balconies inside and outside the Capitol, and the building was illuminated in rainbow colors in 2015 to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to affirm same-sex marriage as a right in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for McClatchy. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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