‘Blatant, Unacceptable Discrimination’: Reading Mayor Calls Off Ceremony To Raise LGBTQ Flag Over City Hall

READING, Pa. (CBS/AP) — The mayor of the eastern Pennsylvania city of Reading called off a scheduled ceremony to raise the LGBTQ rainbow flag over City Hall for the first time, calling it a political symbol. Acting Managing Director Osmer Deming said Mayor Wally Scott believes the “pride flag” represents a political movement and flying it is against city policy.

Council president Jeffrey Waltman Sr. said he found out just before arriving for the ceremony Monday evening and tried unsuccessfully to change the mayor’s mind.

“He has concerns for flying a flag for one specific cause because it could raise questions,” Waltman told The Reading Eagle. “I didn’t even have time to debate that with him”

The LGBT Center of Greater Reading blasted the decision, saying “what was supposed to be a proud and historical moment” became “blatant, unacceptable discrimination.”

The Reading Eagle reports that a POW/MIA flag flies below the U.S. flag at City Hall and flags of other countries have been raised there.

*story by CBS Philly