An LGBT pride flag that has hung for the last four years outside Rep. Alan Lowenthal’s (D-Calif.) Capitol Hill office was defaced this week.
Lowenthal lamented the incident in a House floor speech on Friday, two days after the incident occurred.
According to Lowenthal, a man removed the LGBT flag from its holder outside his office, threw it on the ground and stomped on it, calling the flag “disgusting and immoral.”
Lowenthal expressed worry that this act is the latest in a series of hate crimes across the country that have included threats and vandalism at Jewish community centers and cemeteries.
He also cited Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) controversial comment earlier this week in support of anti-Muslim nationalist Dutch politician Geert Wilders that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.” Lowenthal made the reference to King without directly mentioning him.
“Bomb threats called in to Jewish community centers. Desecrations of Jewish cemeteries. Hate crimes against minorities and the transgender community. Horrifically racist statements from a member of this body. To all our brothers and sisters who endure these hateful acts, we stand with you and we will continue to fight for your rights.”
Lowenthal’s office said the man was taken into custody by the Capitol Police and is under investigation. A Capitol Police spokeswoman declined to comment.
Lawmakers can hang up to three flags outside their offices, which are typically the American flag, their state flag and a personal flag of significance to individual members.