A Republican elected official in Iowa is so upset about the transgender flag that he called it part of a “rainbow jihad.”
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was last Wednesday, and the Iowa Capitol building flew the light blue, pink, and white flag in honor of people who were murdered due to transphobia.
The Iowa Standard reports that the flag flew above the state legisalture for three to five minutes, which was enough to make state Rep. Skyler Wheeler (R) angry.
“I found out the same time as most Iowans,” Wheeler said. “Nothing was sent to my legislative email, no phone call, absolutely nothing. It’s another way that the rainbow jihad continues to give those of us who don’t agree with them a finger in the eye and push their beliefs on us.”
“Flags flown at our state Capitol should not be flags that fuel division among Iowans,” Wheeler continued, although he did not explain how the flag would “fuel division.”
“How would the rainbow jihad react if we were trying to fly the Christian flag over the state Capitol? The rainbow jihad is not OK with simply living their lives. They are so hellbent on pushing their beliefs on us that they would go so far as to fly that flag over the state Capitol.”
“It’s one of the most egregious acts of political aggression I’ve ever seen,” he concluded.
His colleague state Rep. Dean Fisher (R) said that he is considering legislation to limit the flags that can be flown over the building.
“I’d sure like to know the history of who else has been able to fly their flag over the Capitol, but I think it’s kind of disappointing that we’re doing it,” Fisher said.
“I’m preparing a bill to specify that, as far as the official flag poles, it would only be the United States and Iowa flags, and we’ll see where that goes,” he added.
The flag was flown at the request of the organization Iowa Safe Schools.
“Doing something like having a flag flying over the Capitol is a message and a beacon to youth that we serve across the state that they are accepted, they are loved,” said Nate Monson, executive director of Iowa Safe Schools. “While today we’re honoring folks, we’re also moving forward on acceptance and equality.”