Rain­bow flag is not on fed­eral land

Tampa Bay Times - - Nation & World -

Gay rights ac­tivists who worked to get a rain­bow flag in­stalled per­ma­nently at the newly cre­ated Stonewall Na­tional Mon­u­ment are up­set the Na­tional Park Ser­vice says the flag isn’t ac­tu­ally on fed­eral land but on prop­erty owned by the city.

The dis­tinc­tion may seem like a mi­nor one. But to the group that had lob­bied for the flag, the Park Ser­vice’s sur­prise an­nounce­ment that the city, not the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, would be main­tain­ing the flag and its pole seemed like a be­trayal.

“They’re try­ing to make us dis­ap­pear,” said Scott Goren­stein, a spokesman for Wed­nes­day’s flag ded­i­ca­tion event. “We’re say­ing we are here, this is our flag.”

The Park Ser­vice de­nied any slight was in­tended.

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama cre­ated the na­tion’s first fed­eral mon­u­ment to gay rights last year in an area around the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar where pa­trons re­sisted a po­lice raid in 1969, giv­ing a spark to the nascent gay rights move­ment.

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