Reading Mayor Wally Scott | Photo: Facebook/Mayor Wally Scott
A mayor in Pennsylvania canceled a ceremony raising a Pride flag above city hall minutes before it began.
There were plans to raise a rainbow flag over city hall for the first time in the eastern city of Reading on Monday (15 July). Right before the ceremony took place, however, Democratic Mayor Wally Scott, canceled it.
Scott told local news station 69 News he has nothing against the LGBTI community.
Instead, he canceled the ceremony because he views raising the flag as a ‘political movement’ and does not believe flags above city hall should represent that.
Council president Jeffrey Waltman Sr. reportedly only found out about the decision when he arrived. He added that he tried — unsuccessfully — to change Scott’s mind.
Challenges to Mayor Scott’s decision
Activists and other politicians have criticized Scott’s move.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman tweeted on Tuesday (16 July) asking Scott to ‘reconsider’.
Calling on Mayor Scott to reconsider. Looking forward to attending @ReadingPride to affirm our administration’s strong support for LGBTQIA+ community in PA.?️??️? https://t.co/CDADC9OgNt
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) July 16, 2019
He added he is ‘looking forward to attending Reading Pride to affirm our administration’s strong support for LGBTQIA+ community in PA’.
The city is planning to hold its Pride event on Sunday (21 July).
Further, the LGBT Center of Greater Reading also slammed Scott’s decision. They announced on Tuesday a plan to file a discrimination complaint against the mayor’s office.
In a statement, the group said Scott turned ‘what was supposed to be a proud and historical moment… into a show of blatant, unacceptable discrimination’.
Scott will not be the mayor of Reading for much longer. He lost the Democratic primary to challenger Eddie Moran in May.
Paris honors American creator of the Pride flag with special plaque
California State Capitol flies rainbow flag, defying Trump administration
Note reveals how much gay couple’s rainbow flag meant to young neighbor