News (USA)

Arizona landlord demands man remove pride flag over ‘safety’ concerns

After the tragedy in Orlando, gay Arizonan Nano Rodriguez, 22, started flying a rainbow flag at his Tempe rental to show solidarity with the victims of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

“I don’t really know how, but it just gave me some sort of comfort to be able to show my support,” he told KPNX 12 News.

But his landlord objected, expressing safety concerns, and asked Rodriguez to take down the flag in a letter to the tenant:

As stated in terms of your lease … the property is to be kept clean, safe and carefully maintained. I realize this does not refer specifically to flags, so I would like to clarify. In managing this property I have a responsibility for the safety of all the tenants and property. The nature of the flag you are displaying could unfortunately promote negative reactions and possibly harmful retaliation to tenants and property.

Rodriguez told the station that he plans to continue flying the flag and that he is “not looking to press charges or do anything drastic.” However, if push comes to shove, the City of Tempe’s anti-discrimination ordinance would not likely protect Rodriguez, since it applies primarily to discrimination by business owners against customers. He can, however, file a complaint with the city manager.

As far as the landlord’s safety concerns, there’s no indication the flag has caused any problems. The news station spoke to a Roman Catholic neighbor who said he saw it as a form of free expression.

“I’m a big Blackhawks fan so I have Blackhawks stuff hanging up,” the neighbor said. “So I mean, If they want to fly it that’s fine you know, doesn’t bother me either way.”

Watch the full story below.

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