North Dakota councilwoman comes out in defense of Pride flag
Carrie Evans, a North Dakota councilwoman, came out during a Minot city council meeting in defense of the raising of the Pride flag at city hall.
Evans had made the declaration after disgruntled residents of the North Dakotan city had aired their complaints about the Pride flag.
One had accused Mayor Mayor Shaun Sipma, who approved the flying of the flag, of starting a “war” in the city and said he had “never been so pissed off.”
North Dakota councilwoman comes out
Evans spoke up during the meeting after listening to anti-LGBTQ rhetoric for days and when a resident called her out for appearing irritated.
“I think a lot of people in this room are not aware and have come here just because this is a gay issue, I am proudly the first openly elected lesbian in North Dakota,” she said.
“So that is why I am not paying any heed to your crap,” she added. Evans had been elected to her position last June.
The councilwoman further said that, “This city is big enough for all of us. Me having a flag flying doesn’t take away anything from your rights and freedoms. But you know what it does for me?”
“It shows me I live in a city that appreciates and embraces me and the people of my community and that I can live here and feel safe,” she said.
“That’s what it does. I’m sorry it doesn’t make you feel comfortable. But we’re here, we’re queer and we’re not going away,” she proudly declared.
A Pride flag over a North Dakota city
The meeting happened after Magic City Equality, an LGBTQ advocacy organization in North Dakota, was given permission to fly the Pride flag beneath the US and state flags at Minot City Hall.
The flag– which was up for 24 hours– was part of the activities of the group for that’s week’s Pride festival.
Sipma acknowledged during the city council meeting that the Pride flag raised was larger than the US flag. However, he said this was quickly corrected.
Among the reasons given by residents for the flying of the flag was that it would lead to “riots, looting, and destruction.” Others cited religious beliefs while referencing the Bible.
Others said that if they would allow the Pride flag to be flown, they should also allow other flags like “a heterosexual flag and a Confederate flag.”
North Dakota mayor defends decision
During the meeting, Sipma defended his decision and said he based it on conversations with LGBTQ people, “listening to the stories of absolutely hatred they had endured, simply because of being different.”
Sipma also told the people who said their objections were not rooted in hate: “I’ve experienced a tremendous amount of hate towards me and towards the folks that fit under that umbrella.”
“So, what led to my decision on that was also seeing a population within our community that does need to have that issue addressed– the issue of hate,” he explained.
He added, “When they came to me, they had stated that they wanted a call for kindness, not necessarily acceptance, but a call for kindness. And that I can appreciate.”
Ironically, he said that several of the people who objected to the flag were not residents of Minot.