Memo Fachino and his husband, Lance Mier, have been proudly flying a Pride flag in front of their Wisconsin home for five years.
So when their neighborhood homeowners’ association enacted a new policy last month that barred residents from flying anything other than an American flag, Fachino responded by turning his entire home into one giant Pride flag.
On May 31, Fachino and Mier installed six floodlights — one for each color of the standard Pride flag — and pointed them toward the front of their brick home.
“Simple representation and diversity is important to us,” Fachino told CNN. “We would like to see that in a neighborhood if we were looking to buy a house and were driving around.”
Fachino, who sits on the board of his neighborhood in Racine, told the news outlet that he doesn’t believe there was any “ill intent” from the management company that runs the HOA, which asked Fachino to remove the physical Pride flag.
Fachino says that the HOA likely enacted the rule because of neighbors flying flags expressing political views, including flags that referenced the Black Lives Matter movement or the “Thin Blue Line,” a symbol of support for police.
The HOA’s guidelines do allow for “removable lighting” in front of single-family homes like Fachino’s.
Fachino says it was important to him to keep his home’s Pride flag up in some form. A few years ago, he said, a neighbor struggling with their gender identity wrote to the couple and thanked them for displaying the flag.
“When they reached out to us, they weren’t feeling accepted in their family but found hope in knowing that acceptance was out there in the community,” Fachino told CNN. “We don’t expect to have that same impact with our display, but perhaps it gives someone an idea to replicate [the display] on their home?”