A decision to fly a rainbow flag flag symbolizing gay pride over the Asheville, North Carolina city hall has drawn criticism two local GOP functionaries, comparing it to something that Adolph Hitler would have done.
According the Citizen-Times, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer said that she didn’t have a discussion with City Manager over flying the flag commemorating a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. striking down North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriages on Friday.
“I recognize that people have different views on these issues, and I’m sensitive to that,” Manheimer said, stating that the City Council had unanimously approved the decision.
Former City Councilman Carl Mumpower and former chairman of the Buncombe County GOP Chad Nesbitt, claim council violated state open meetings law by not holding vote during an official meeting in public, and compared it to the rise of Nazism.
“There is a reason that North Carolina instructs local elected bodies to handle their affairs in an open and deliberative way,” Nesbitt and Mumpower said in a statement. “Otherwise, they would be free, such as in this case, to indulge their personal feelings and conduct business behind closed doors and over private phone lines.”
“I am equating their methods with the Nazi movement,” Mumpower said. “They are indifferent to the rule of law and indifferent to the vote of the people. And that’s Adolph Hitler all over again in a different disguise.”
City Council member Gordon Smith said council informally approved the gesture to hang the flag in recognition of “a momentous time in our history.”
Mumpower and a handful of protestors appeared at city hall on Friday holding up a Christian flag.