The Pride flag isn’t flying outside the Kenosha County Courthouse. In 2021, June was declared Pride Month by Retired County Executive Jim Kreuser. County Executive Kerkman ordered that all prior executive orders concerning flag usage at County sites are rescinded, in an executive order that she did not release publicly last Friday. Although this executive order is cloaked in verbiage about which flags shall be flown versus which may be flown on county property, the fact remains that the Pride flag is missing this month.
It has become commonplace for the Pride flag to be flown outside government buildings in a show of solidarity for our LGBTQ+ communities. Kenosha Mayor Antaramian decreed in 2021 that the Pride flag be flown at Navy Memorial Park for the month of June and that Kenosha recognizes Pride Month. The Pride flag is also flown at our state Capitol. The number of communities flying the Pride flag at official buildings is growing, and that gesture of support, though a small step, shows a community is making steps toward inclusivity.
County Executive Samantha Kerkman has taken our county backward on addressing issues of equality and inclusion. The fact that this is taking place during a time when people within the LGBTQ+ community are experiencing a sharp rise in public attacks through legislation and extremist groups is reprehensible.
The flying of a flag might seem like a small thing, but it in this case, it has shown people of the LGBTQ+ community that their county recognizes “the battles it has forged for equality and social acceptance.” That is the way retired County Executive Kreuser stated it in 2021, and that recognition is even more critical in 2023.
The Executive Board of the Kenosha County Democratic Party denounces County Executive Kerkman’s decision to exclude the Pride flag for the month of June from the front of our county courthouse, and we ask that it be put back in its rightful place immediately for the duration of Pride Month this year and every year of her term. We ask the public to contact the County Executive’s office to ask the same at 262-653-2600 or through the website at kenoshacounty.org/144/County-Executive.
Chair, Kenosha County Democratic Party