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Queerty: After a city councilwoman came out, homophobia explodes in a North Dakota town

Councilwoman Carrie Evans

Just one week after city councilwoman Carrie Evans rocked a city council meeting by coming out of the closet, the tiny city of Minot, North Dakota has experienced an uptick in outward homophobia.

It was on full display during another council meeting this past Monday (September 21) as debate continued over flying the Pride Flag outside Minot City Hall. The city originally planned to fly the flag throughout the month of June, though deferred those plans until September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the September 14 council meeting, Evans came out of the closet to push back against an angry Minot resident who didn’t want his city associated with the flag.

Evans’ declaration brought citizens out of the woodwork on both sides of the debate. KFYR TV reports that tensions flared during the September 21 meeting, again over display of the Pride Flag.

Related: North Dakota councilwoman comes out in epic smackdown of a homophobe

“Not only as an openly gay woman, but as a born and raised citizen of Minot I was deeply disappointed by the homophobic display put on by citizens at last week’s meeting,” said Riley Held, a former resident of the city.

“We will be forever grateful for this historic moment here in Minot, North Dakota. As an openly gay male, and an indigenous person I can say we have all experienced in our own individual shared way what it means to be treated less than human,” Jordan Laducer, of Magic City Equality told the council.

Opponents of the flag didn’t mince words.

“My husband is a Vietnam veteran who has a deep respect for our country, state, and city. Likewise so do I. We both feel it’s not appropriate to fly other flags in front of city hall or other government buildings,”Minot resident Liz Hoppman said.

Ultimately the city council voted to place a moratorium on flags other than the American Flag displayed outside city hall. In the meantime, the council will develop a new policy regarding procedures for requesting and flying new flags.

On the upside, that means that the NRA flag, scheduled to fly outside city hall later this week, will not go up as planned.