Rainbow flag over state Capitol

Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order to fly a rainbow flag over the state Capitol for the remainder of June 2019 in recognition of "Pride Month."

The governor, state lawmakers, and members of the LGBTQ community gathered at the state Capitol on Monday to celebrate Pride Month in Wisconsin and push for more state laws to protect and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.

Gov. Tony Evers declared earlier this month that the Pride Flag would fly for the first time over the Capitol and state buildings for the month of June.

During a press conference on the Capitol steps, transgender activist Elle Halo of Milwaukee spoke about the dangers that black transgender women face.

"We know what it is to live each day where even a simple errand can become a tragic instance of violence," Halo said, before reciting the names of transgender women killed across the country so far this year.

Sergio Domínguez Jr. of Madison said lawmakers need to take action to prevent those acts of violence and other forms of discrimination.

"I implore you to support legislation that explicitly recognizes our existence and explicitly protects us," Dominguez said.

Members of the Legislature's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer caucus have proposed several bills this legislative session aimed at promoting LGBTQ rights.

Those proposals include plans to:

> Prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.

> Create a state transgender equality task force.

> Recognize same-sex marriage by making references to spouses in state statutes gender neutral and recognize legal parentage for same-sex couples under certain circumstances.

> Eliminates the so-called gay and/or trans "panic defenses" in Wisconsin, stating that defendants cannot assert adequate provocation or self defense if the criminal act resulted from the discovery of, knowledge of or potential disclosure of the victim’s gender identity or expression or sexual orientation.

> Prohibits certain mental health providers from engaging in conversion therapy with a minor.

The bills have yet to be heard before legislative committees.

Wisconsin Public Radio, © Copyright 2019, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.

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