A pair of North Carolina Republicans likened flying a two-story rainbow flag over city hall in Asheville, North Carolina, to flying a Nazi flag over the building.
That’s according to a piece in the Asheville Citizen-Times about a rainbow flag being flown over the building on Thursday as same-sex couples and supporters of same-sex marriage waited for word on a court ruling on same-sex marriage in the state.
The two Republicans, former city councilman Carl Mumpower and former Buncombe County GOP chairman Chad Nesbitt, criticized the move saying the Asheville City Council’s decision to fly the flag (the council voted unanimously to display it) violated North Carolina open meeting laws.
“I am equating their methods with the Nazi movement,” Mumpower said according to the North Carolina newspaper. “They are indifferent to the rule of law and indifferent to the vote of the people. And that’s Adolph [sic] Hitler all over again in a different disguise.”
A statement from Nesbitt and Mumpower included the depiction of a Nazi flag flying over City Hall, the Citizen-Times reported.
“There is a reason that North Carolina instructs local elected bodies to handle their affairs in an open and deliberative way,” the two Republicans said in their 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.”
On Friday, Mayor Esther Manheimer (D) said the decision to fly the flag was more about supporting civil rights than stirring up conflict over same-sex marriage.
“I recognize that people have different views on these issues and I’m sensitive to that,” Manheimer said.
On Friday U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn struck down North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage, creating an opening for same-sex couples to marry in the state immediately.
See the image Nesbitt and Mumpower included in their statement below:
This post has been updated.