An Iowa man who was found guilty of lighting a local church’s LGBTQ flag on fire was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison Wednesday.
Adolfo Martinez, 30, was found guilty last month of a hate crime, third-degree harassment and reckless use of fire after admitting to police in June that he stole a pride banner hanging outside the Ames United Church of Christ and set it on fire using lighter fluid about two blocks away outside the Dangerous Curves Gentleman’s Club according to the The Des Moines Register.
The conviction has some interesting legal complications.
- HYPOCRITICAL INJUSTICE: COLORS OF FLAG DETERMINE PUNISHMENT AFTER MAN SENTENCED TO 16 YEARS FOR BURNING LGBTQ FLAG
In 1989 in Texas v. Johnson, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of a protester who had burned the American flag. The actions were considered “symbolic speech, political in nature, and could be expressed even at the expense of our national symbol” according to the majority opinion.