Congressman Lowenthal Sued to Remove Historic Pride Flag From Outside His Capitol Hill Office

July 19, 2017
Press Release

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) vowed to fight a lawsuit today that seeks to force him to remove a historic Pride Flag from outside his Washington, D.C. Congressional office.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the suit claims that the plaintiff is "offended and injured by the placement of the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag," and requests that the court order the flag removed and declared a "religious symbol," homosexuality be declared a "religion," and marriage equality be overturned nationwide. He is also seeking $1 in damages.

Congressman Lowenthal was the first Member of Congress to permanently fly the Pride flag outside his Capitol Hill office. Congressman Lowenthal first flew the Pride flag outside his DC office in March, 2013 (and inside his Long Beach district office) to show his solidarity with LGBT Americans, in support of marriage equality, and in opposition to discrimination and violence.

"I fly the Pride Flag outside my office in support of every LGBTQ individual—those in my district, those in our nation, and those around the world," Congressman Lowenthal said. "It is a symbol of both how far we have come on equality for all Americans and, as these incidents illustrate, how far we still have to go. It is a symbol of love, of peace, and diversity. I will fight this hateful attempt to silence equality and justice. We have come too far to allow the voices of bigotry and hate to win."

In a separate incident involving a different individual earlier this year, a visitor to the Cannon House Office Building entered the Congressman's office and angrily exclaimed his belief that the Pride Flag outside the office was inappropriate alongside the American flag.

Members of Congress have permanent fixtures outside each office to accommodate three flags, with two spaces going to the American flag and the member's state flag. The third slot is used for a personal selection of the Congress member.

The man left the Congressman's office, removed the Congressman's Pride Flag from its holder, threw it to the ground, and proceeded to repeatedly stomp on it. The man was ultimately escorted into the custody of Capitol Police officers.

Following a lengthy investigation, Capitol Police were ultimately unable to identify the perpetrator.

Three other Members of Congress who fly the Pride Flag outside their D.C. offices were also named in the suit. They are Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA-53), and Congressmen Don Beyer (VA-08) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-3).

The case is Sevier v. Lowenthal, et al. To view the lawsuit filing, click here.

Congressman Lowenthal and the Pride Flag outside his office.