HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s House speaker and other Republican lawmakers are criticizing Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock for flying the gay pride rainbow flag instead of the state flag over the weekend.
Speaker Greg Hertz wrote in a Facebook post the flag poles outside the Capitol should not be used as political speech. Republican Reps. Steve Gunderson and Derek Skees expressed similar sentiments.
The Great Falls Tribune reports Bullock requested the flag to fly on behalf of the LGBTQ community and Saturday’s Big Sky Pride parade in Helena.
Bullock spokeswoman Marissa Perry says the rainbow flag was raised in celebration and in recognition of the gay community’s contributions, and not as a political statement.
She notes the Montana state flag also is replaced by the Irish flag each year on St. Patrick’s Day.