Couple Risks Losing Home Over Pride Flag

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

A Wisconsin couple was threatened eviction because of their pride flag.

According to NBC News, Kevin Kollman and Merle Malterer are residents at the Country Oaks Apartments in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. What used to be a content home life, however, was recently threatened by the property owner Bieck Management.

The couple reports that they received a letter giving them a five-day warning. If they didn’t remove a gay pride flag hanging from the patio of their apartment, their lease would be terminated.

Part of the letter reads as follows:

“Tenant shall not, without permission, in the building rules or specific written approval of landlord, physically alter or redecorate the premises, cause any contractor’s lien to attach to the premises, commit waste to the premises or the property of which it is part, or attach or display anything which substantially affects the exterior of the premises or the property of which it is part.”

Photo by Max Sulik on Unsplash

According to the Hill, the two were deeply upset by the letter. Not only because of the threat but because it was the second one involving the property and a flag. The couple shared that earlier this year, they were also asked to remove a Green Bay Packers flag from their property’s patio.

At first, it would appear that anti-gay intentions aren’t involved since this is the second flag incident. But, the situation becomes more complicated when you factor that several other apartment units have flags hanging from their patios. The couple notes that several of their neighbors have American and police-themed flags that have yet to be removed.

“My big thing is this: I’m not going to be bullied at 52 years of age, neither is my partner,” Kollman said. “We’re not going to be told we’re not in compliance with our legal right under the First Amendment.”

As of this Sunday afternoon, the couple has not been evicted from their apartment. But with their five day period officially over, Kollman and Malterer. However, WBBH reports that the property owner doesn’t want to evict the couple. They are now working to resolve the situation.

h/t: NBC News, The Hill, WBBH

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