BUTTE - After the recent events in Idaho where 31 men were arrested for conspiring to riot at a pride event, LGBTQ+ community members were shocked to hear about complaints about the rainbow flag being flown in front of the Butte-Silver Bow courthouse.
"We’ve seen that people were concerned about our Pride flag here in Butte. Some people felt that it wasn’t appropriate to display," said Doug Ingraham.
Ingraham is a vocal member of Butte’s LGBTQ+ community and heard through one of the state representatives there was concern about the Pride flag in front of the Butte-Silver Bow courthouse.
"Those colors are representations of things that anybody within our community would be proud to represent and I don’t know how anybody could be against those," said Ingraham.
Chief executive J.P. Gallagher says that Butte-Silver Bow is a community of inclusion and hasn’t received any complaints directly sent to him about taking down the rainbow flag.
"We feel very strongly that it’s important for us to show that we’re a community that is diverse, that embraces all, and that we’re not going to give in to the pressures of people thinking it shouldn’t be flown," said Gallagher.
According to ACLU Montana, Butte is among only five cities in Montana to pass nondiscrimination ordinances. Butte became the third city to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance in early 2014. The ordinance bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity regarding housing, employment, and the use of public accommodations.
Other cities that have a nondiscrimination ordinance are Missoula, Helena, Bozeman, and Whitefish.
For now, the rainbow flag will continue to fly with the other flags in front of the courthouse.
"This is the second administration to fly the flag and we’re really proud of what it represents and the unity it brings to Butte," said Ingraham.