An issue of discrimination or decoration? Wisconsin gay couple threatened with eviction after being ordered to remove gay pride flag from Oak Creeks property.
The looming confrontation follows, Kevin Kollmann and Merle Malterer having lived in the Country Oaks Apartments property in Oak Creek for the past six years.
‘This is a place we love,’ Kollmann told WBBH-TV. ‘It’s our home.’
‘This is who I am, this is who we are.’
The couple’s future in their home became uncertain on Wednesday, when they received a note ordering them to take down a flag.
The flag showed the Stars and Stripes, but instead of red, white, and blue, they were colored in the LGBTQ rainbow, which has become a symbol of gay and trans pride.
The note accused the couple of breaching their lease. It said that they had five days to remove the flag.
‘Personally, I feel like we’re being kind of singled out here because it’s what it is,’ Kollman said.
‘It’s a symbol of America, it’s a symbol of our pride in America being a gay couple here in Oak Creek.’
Are Kevin Kollmann and Merle Malterer being singled out for being gay?
The property owner, who has not been identified, told local media that he would have asked the couple to remove the flag irrespective of what symbol was on it.
The owner said he asked the same couple to take down a Green Bay Packers flag in January.
He said that hanging a flag on the property is a violation of the lease agreement.
But Ken Miller, another apartment tenant, says he has hung several flags outside his apartment and has not been asked to remove them.
‘I’ve been here for three years, and I’ve had these flags up for at least two years and I’ve never had any issues with the flags,’ Miller said.
Kollmann and Malterer say that they plan to keep the flags in place.
The landlord has said he does not want to evict the couple and that he would be willing to sit down and discuss the matter.
The couple, meanwhile, is said to be considering legal action.
Of note, Wisconsin has a statewide ban on anti-LGB housing discrimination, according to the Human Rights Campaign.