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ND lawmaker pulls Facebook post with swastika on gay pride flag

BISMARCK – A Republican state senator from Edinburg reposted, then later withdrew, a conservative blog post on her Facebook page that included a graphic featuring a Nazi swastika centered on a gay pride rainbow flag.

First-year Sen. Janne Myrdal shared the post by Thomas Schmitz, an editor for Conservatives4Palin.com on her Facebook page. A screen shot of the post was reshared by the liberal blog meanread.com on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

The flag was shared along with an article titled, “The Forgotten Gays Part II: Is the LGBT On Crack?”

Myrdal answered a Forum request for an interview Tuesday, but only to say she had retracted the post and that she had left the only statement she was willing to make on the Facebook page.

“Recently I re-posted a story on my personal Facebook wall that had an image attached to the link that I was unaware of; I have since deleted the post. As a daughter of a family that suffered under the said image, I deplore this image and I would never post this image on purpose,” Myrdal wrote on Facebook.

“We’re going to leave it at that,” Myrdal said in her brief phone call, refusing to answer why she posted the identifiable image.

Joshua Boschee, a Democratic representative from Fargo’s District 44 who is openly gay, said he hadn’t seen the post, but said the nation was founded on the First Amendment and people’s freedom to protest.

At the same time, Boschee was surprised to hear that someone would try to tie the gay community to the symbol of a genocidal regime.

“I don’t know any LGBT tied to the Nazi cause,” Boschee said. “If anything, LGBT people have a history of being persecuted by Nazi Germany and suffered the same experiences as Catholic priests and people who were Jewish and a variety of other folks.

He said lawmakers are in the public eye, but he’d still encourage people communicating with them to do so constructively and avoid name-calling, He said he was openg to talking with Myrdal about the issue if she wished.

Boschee is also the primary sponsor of a bill to ban discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation. State law already bans discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, disability and other statuses. House Bill 1386 was introduced Monday.

The “Forgotten Gays” column by Schmitz focused on singer Jennifer Holliday’s decision to decline to sing at any of the events tied to the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. The column said that Holliday had been bullied by leaders of the LGBT movement over her original decision to sing.

“The core problem is the current direction of the LGBT movement. The LGBT movement is laser focused on being a for-profit professional agitation group. An agitation group who targets and attacks citizens opposed to the Democrat agenda. When American citizens stray from the Democrat plantation, they are isolated, polarized, and destroyed. This is irresponsible. This is wrong. This is Un-American,” Schmitz wrote.

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