Wash. State House Candidate May Face Charges for Ripping Down 'Sodomite Flag'

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday August 10, 2020

A candidate for the Washington State House of Representatives may face charges after ripping down a rainbow Pride flag flown by a church and then threatening witnesses to the act, telling them that "If it gets put back up, I will take it down."

Daniel Charles Svoboda, 41, - who described himself as a Trump Republican Party" candidate for the 24th District of the Washington State House of Representatives - has publicly stated his opposition to marriage equality and women having the right to vote.

Svoboda also "has a history of confrontations in the Pacific Northwest over rainbow flags and confrontations with members of the LGBTQ community" according to police, reported local newspaper The Leader.

The latest such incident, on July 21, reportedly saw Svoboda, clad in a red "Trump" t-shirt, taking down the Pride flag belonging to Seabold United Methodist Church.

The church is pressing charges.

The Leader reported that Svoboda responded to a request for comment with this:

"The reason I took the flag down is because it sends the wrong message to the very world that the church is supposed to be saving.... The church has lost her way and fails to communicate this message when it flies a sodomite flag."

The newspaper noted that Svoboda has a long history with law enforcement, having been arrested for climbing onto a gay bar in Portland, Oregon, to tear down a Pride flag being flown by that establishment and "harassing" patrons at a different gay bay in Portland.

In a voters guide statement, Svoboda outlined these positions:

"...no more special rights for women, people of color, homosexuals and those that wish to misrepresent their gender, tribes, and illegal aliens and anyone else that believes they deserve special rights.

"I am pro-life and do not believe in a women's right to vote or kill their child."

In a profile of four candidates published by local newspaper the Peninsula Daily News, Svoboda declared himself ignorant of the state budget, reiterated his belief that marriage equality is a "special right" for non-heterosexuals, indicated is opposition to legal divorce, said that measures undertaken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were "ridiculous," and declared, "My rights do not end where your fear begins."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.