On Friday, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs falsely accused Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers and Senate President Karen Fann of ordering the removal of the Pride and Transgender Pride flags from the balcony of the Capitol Museum.
Hobbs and company had placed the flags to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.
According to the Arizona Mirror, “Mike Braun, executive director of Legislatvie (sic) Council, said he removed the flags because they were “nonconforming” and Hobbs did not go through the proper channels in order to display them on the building. He said he was not directed to do so by Bowers, Fann or anyone else.”
Bowers told the Arizona Mirror, “It is concerning that our state’s chief elections officer is disseminating partisan misinformation.”
Reaction to Hobbs’ claim was swift from both sides of the political aisle:
Secretary Hobbs made this statement after hanging her flags. “I didn’t think I needed permission to hang a flag from the balcony of the Capitol,” Hobbs said. “It’s my balcony.” No, the building belongs to the people of Arizona. Like all public servants, you are just a guest.
— Rep. Walt Blackman (@WaltBlackmanAZ) June 29, 2019
UPDATE: Legislative Council, at the direction of the Senate President and House Speaker, removed the #Pride Flags from the @azcapitolmuseum. When I displayed the flags my goal was to highlight that Arizona is a state where all are welcome and respected. We still have work to do. pic.twitter.com/H07wLI8PKz
— Secretary Katie Hobbs (@SecretaryHobbs) June 28, 2019
Even from Afghanistan I can see what a ridiculous political stunt that was in an attempt drive a wedge between D’s and R’s in our great state. Thanks for speaking up @Blackman1Walter https://t.co/T2UpeHnOhH
— Travis Grantham (@TravisGrantham) June 29, 2019
50 years after Stonewall Arizonans still lack basic protections.
While we have made much progress shameful that this symbol of equality would be torn down
But what’s more shameful is that you can be denied housing or fired for being LGBTQ in AZ
Pass non discrimination in 2020
— Representative Daniel Hernandez Jr (@danielforaz) June 29, 2019
As if taking a flag down would take Pride down. No way, no how. When will our colleagues ever learn? The more you try to suppress a movement whose time has so clearly and definitively come the more you help it flourish. I guess we should say thanks for the boost.
— David Bradley (@Bradley4AZ) June 28, 2019