HELENA — Montana’s two top legislative leaders on Monday castigated Gov. Steve Bullock for flying the Pride flag, representing Montana’s gay community, at the state Capitol over the weekend, instead of the state flag.
In a letter to the governor, House Speaker Greg Hertz of Polson and Senate President Scott Sales of Bozeman, both Republicans, called the decision “an unmistakable act of disrespect to our state and the people and institutions we serve and beneath the office of the governor.”
They also suggested that Bullock’s decision is tied to his campaign for president, and said the two-term Democrat is “trying to stand out among some of the most well-financed, radical, left-wing ideologues in America.”
“If the governor chooses to hold this office while campaigning for president, he must do as all other elected officials do, and leave his political activism on the campaign trail and off state property,” they wrote.
Bullock ordered the Pride flag flown over the weekend at the Capitol, to coincide with events honoring the gay community this month and past weekend.
Spokeswoman Marissa Perry said the governor orders the Irish flag flown in place of the state flag on St. Patrick’s Day and that flying the Pride flag is no different.
“Like the raising of the Irish flag, the raising of the Pride flag is not a political statement,” she said. “It’s a celebration and recognition of the contributions of LGBTQ+ Montanans to our state’s history and for future generations.”