Colorado Republican Party Urges Burning of All Pride Flags

By: Georgia | Published: Jun 06, 2024

It’s been a turbulent week for the Colorado GOP after they sent out an email claiming “God Hates Pride,” along with a video called “God Hates Flags.” 

This move has sparked a wave of criticism for its negative portrayal of the LGBTQ community, relying on stereotypes that have long been denounced by civil rights advocates.

Colorado GOP Doubles Down Amid Backlash

Instead of dialing back, the Colorado GOP pushed their message further by announcing on X, formerly Twitter: “Burn all the #pride flags this June.” 

A vibrant Pride flag being waved at an outdoor event with a crowd of spectators and urban buildings in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This bold declaration has only intensified the scrutiny and condemnation from both the public and political figures alike.


A Line Crossed for GOP Candidate

Valdamar Archuleta, a gay Republican running for Congress in Denver, could not stand by this time. 

Two men, one in a striped colorful shirt, smiling next to a booth with a sign reading "Archuleta for Colorado,"

Source: Archuleta4CO/X

He withdrew his acceptance of the party’s endorsement, stating, “I personally found it very troubling. I spoke with many LGBT and non-LGBT Republicans yesterday who also found the message in the email disgusting and offensive.”

Outrage from a Local Official

Douglas County’s openly gay Republican Commissioner Abe Laydon was quick to condemn the email as “absolutely atrocious,” stating it goes against his core values and religious beliefs. 

Portrait of a young male official in a dark suit and red tie, standing in an office with American and Colorado state flags in the background

Source: AbeLaydon/X

Laydon’s denouncement highlights a rift within the party on issues of LGBTQ rights.

Sharp Words from the Other Side of the Aisle

David Ortiz, a bisexual Democratic State House Representative and military veteran, didn’t mince words.

Three men seated at a legislative hearing table, with microphones and papers in front of them, in a crowded hearing room

Source: DavidDOrtizCO/X

He said, “Y’all, under your current leadership, have more in common with the Taliban than the founding fathers. LGBTQ folks served and serve in the military. We are cops, we are firefighters, we are your family members & neighbors.”

A Painful Reminder of Colorado's Past

The recent events have resurrected dark memories of the 1990s when Colorado was dubbed “the Hate State” after passing Amendment 2.

A festive scene of a Pride celebration with multiple people holding and waving various rainbow flags

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This stripped queer people of the ability to claim minority or protected status.


The Backstory of Amendment 2

Amendment 2’s inception was largely influenced by anti-LGBTQ religious groups based in Colorado Springs, as noted by the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum. 

A close-up of a Pride flag fluttering in the breeze during a parade

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This legislation marked a notorious period in Colorado’s legislative history, targeting LGBTQ rights.


A Nationwide Issue

This controversy in Colorado reflects a broader national issue, with over 500 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this year alone.

A large Pride flag waving proudly under a clear blue sky, mounted on a pole beside a street lamp

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This trend signals an increase in legislative attacks against the LGBTQ community.


Shifting Political Tides in Colorado

Historically known for its conservative values, Colorado has been moving towards more progressive leadership.

A close-up portrait of a bald male government official with a friendly expression, wearing a suit and tie with an American flag background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This shift is epitomized by the election of Jared Polis, the first openly gay governor in the United States, symbolizing a new era for Colorado politics.


Governor Polis Reacts to GOP Email

In response to the GOP’s controversial stance, a spokesperson for Governor Polis shared his opinion with ABC News.

A candid shot of a smiling politician in a white t-shirt adorned with colorful beads

Source: Wikimedia Commons

They said, “What a ridiculous mailer. Governor Polis is focused on creating a Colorado for All where everyone can thrive no matter who they love or how they identify.”


Celebrating Pride with the Governor

Governor Polis has embraced Pride Month as a time for celebration, advocacy, and visibility.

A male politician speaking at a podium outdoors with a scenic view of mountains in the background

Source: GovofCO/X

“Pride Month in Colorado is a time of celebration, advocacy, and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community. This month, we honor the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement and recognize the ongoing fight for equality.”


Looking to a More Inclusive Future

Despite the current controversy, Colorado is steadfast in its commitment to become more inclusive. 

A male politician gesturing as he speaks at a podium with the Colorado state seal, addressing an attentive indoor audience

Source: GovofCO/X

The state is rallying around its diverse population, promoting unity and a broader acceptance across all communities to foster a more accepting and equitable society.