Korean War Veteran Ray Green Addresses Lafayette Council On Gay Pride Flag Incident
LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) — Korean War veteran Ray Green took the stage at Tuesday night’s Lafayette City-Parish Council meeting, urging council members to draft an ordinance that would restrict certain flags from flying on government-owned flag poles.
Green assured the council–and the public by extension–that he is not a “gay basher.” He and other veterans are upset that a gay pride flag was allowed to fly on a Girard Park flag pole shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.
The incident has been a subject of controversy, garnering widespread media attention. A proposal from council member Andy Naquin to draft an ordinance which would restrict the flying of anything but the U.S., Louisiana, and the City of Lafayette flags elicited a response from the American Civil Liberties Union, calling on the council to not pass such a measure.
Green asked the council how they would feel if the Nazi, Ku Klux Klan, North American Man-Boy Love Association, or other controversial flags were allowed to fly from government flag poles.
“It’s only a matter of time until that train wreck happens,” Green said. “I want to fly a straight pride flag in front of city hall. Can I do that?”
While local government has the right to make such restrictions, council attorney Michael Hebert said he didn’t feel an ordinance was “legally necessary,” saying such policies have historically been created by the administration.
Hebert said an all-or-nothing approach–allowing only government flags from flying on government flag poles–was probably “overbroad,” and he said a restriction couldn’t be based on a viewpoint or content.