Raising of pride flag spurs debate at Minot City Council meeting
MINOT, N.D. - During the public comment period at Tuesday evening’s Minot City Council meeting, a group of Minot-area residents spoke out against the city’s raising of the pride flag last week.
The rainbow flag was raised this past Wednesday at the request of Magic City Equality as part of a proclamation recognizing June as LGBTQ month in Minot.
“We wanted the North Dakotans as well as the city of Minot to recognize pride under the LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Mayor Shaun Sipma and Alderwoman Carrie Evans both spoke at that event. Mayor Sipma says they have heard a variety of opinions from the public since then. Pride was originally scheduled for the first week in June, but because of COVID we had to schedule it to a late date and it was around Labor Day,” said Jorden Laducer, with Magic City Equality.
“There have been a lot of phone calls that I have taken and again I apologize for not getting back to you this is the answer I have experienced a tremendous amount of hate,” said Sipma.
Some members of the public who addressed the council said they disapproved of the process by which the council decided to put up the flag.
“The people of Minot want to know why, why this was voted without the council members,” said resident Nancy Bruce.
Others said special interest groups have no right to have a flag raised at city hall, and threatened to stop doing business in the city.
“We will take all of our money to Bismarck or to surrounding areas. We will quit spending here, that I mean. I will not support somebody that will raise a flag like that,” said Simeon Waddington.
Councilwoman Carrie Evans said the gesture was meant to show inclusivity and representation.
“I get to see myself represented on that flag pole just as much as the people who got the Juneteenth flag last month just as much as the POW-MIAs will get later this month every single person is entitled to see themselves represented,” said Evans.
At the beginning of the meeting, Sipma apologized for the size of the flag, and said he would be returning calls to some people he hadn’t had a chance to yet.
Sipma also said there was extra security at Tuesday’s meeting due to threats.
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