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July 24, 2017

Congressman Lowenthal Sued for Displaying Rainbow Flag

By Charlotte Parker Gliserman

The rainbow flag has been an LGBT symbol since 1978, when Californian Gilbert Baker dyed and stitched the first Pride flag by hand. Twenty-five years after its creation, in 2013 California Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) became the first member of Congress to permanently display the Pride flag outside of his office in Washington, D.C.

Last summer I had the pleasure of working in Congressman Lowenthal’s Capitol Hill Office as a Victory Congressional Intern. Though I was hundreds of miles away from my family and friends, Congressman Lowenthal's Pride flag made me feel like I was at home.

The Pride flag is a symbol of resilience, resistance, and perseverance—a nod to the LGBT community’s decades of struggle and an evergreen commitment to fighting for equal rights. Congressman Lowenthal’s Pride flag represents his commitment to these principles as he promotes pro-LGBT legislation, betters the lives of LGBT Californians, and supports young LGBT people, like me, as they pursue careers in politics.

Last week, Congressman Lowenthal and three other members of Congress received word that they are being sued for displaying the Pride flag.

In his complaint, the plaintiff stated that the Pride flag is an offensive icon that undermines his religious freedom. He hopes that the United States District Court for the District of Columbia will order the representatives to remove the flags, as well as recriminalize homosexuality and overturn same-sex couples’ right to marry.

In response to the lawsuit, Congressman Lowenthal stated, “I will fight this hateful attempt to silence equality and justice. We have come too far to allow the voices of bigotry and hate to win.”

I want to thank Congressman Lowenthal for his continuous advocacy for LGBT people in the United States and across the globe. I hope his Pride flag, a representation of courage in the face of hate, flies high for many years to come.