California Raises First Pride Flag At Its Capitol, Defying Trump

California Gov. Gavin Newsom had the rainbow pride flag raised at the state Capitol on Monday for the first time in state history, sending a message of resistance against the Trump administration’s policy forbidding the LGBTQ banner at other government buildings. 

The Democratic governor tweeted out the news with a photo showing the pride flag flying beneath the American flag midway through LGBTQ Pride Month. It will stay up until July 1. 

“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. “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.” 

Newsom’s decision comes shortly after Vice President Mike Pence confirmed that the Trump administration rejected U.S. embassies’ requests to fly the rainbow pride flag in June.

Though Pence’s reasoning was that only “one flag should fly” on those State Department buildings, he’s long been one of the most vocal opponents to LGBTQ equality efforts, supporting so-called gay conversion therapy, fighting to stop marriage equality and defending people seeking to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Amid the controversy, political leaders in Wisconsin and New York also decided to raise pride flags at their state capitols for the first time. 

In defiance of the Trump administration policy, some U.S. embassies and diplomats have flown the pride flag anyway or found other ways to honor Pride Month, such as by shining rainbow lights on the exterior of embassies. 

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