Reading mayor calls off ceremony to raise LGBTQ flag at City Hall
READING — The mayor of the eastern Pennsylvania city of Reading called off a scheduled ceremony to raise the LGBTQ rainbow flag over City Hall for the first time, calling it a political symbol.
Acting Managing Director Osmer Deming said Mayor Wally Scott believes the “pride flag” represents a political movement and flying it is against city policy.
Reading Mayor Wally Scott says the Pride Flag will not fly outside city hall because it represents “a movement” and the city should never endorse a movement. Local LGBTQ leaders say it doesn’t represent a movement, it represents a people seeking equal rights. What do you think? pic.twitter.com/es9D3miI5z
— Walter Perez (@WalterPerez6abc) July 16, 2019
Council president Jeffrey Waltman Sr. said he found out just before arriving for the ceremony Monday evening and tried unsuccessfully to change the mayor’s mind.
The LGBT Center of Greater Reading blasted the decision, saying “what was supposed to be a proud and historical moment” became “blatant, unacceptable discrimination.”
"This is the 'People's Mayor' everyone," Councilwoman Donna Reed said on the steps of City Hall. "Just not all of us people."
— Jeremy Long (@jeremymlong) July 16, 2019
The Reading Eagle reports that a POW/MIA flag flies below the U.S. flag at City Hall and flags of other countries have been raised there.