A couple in Racine, Wisconsin, had to take down a pride flag from the front of their house because of new rules from their homeowner's association. But that didn't stop them from showcasing their love and excitement for Pride Month. The married couple instead set up floodlights to illuminate their house in the colors of the rainbow.
Memo Fachino, a homeowner in Racine, Wisconsin, wrote about the experience with his husband Lance Mier on Reddit, and the post quickly went viral.
Fachino, who is a representative of the homeowner's association, wrote that the flag rule went into effect in May after there was "friction" developing between neighbors who were flying opposing "opinion flags," such as Black Lives Matter and Thin Blue Line flags, and the association decided to only allow homeowners to display American flags.
Fachino and Mier had their pride flag displayed on the front porch since 2016, but the day after that decision was made, Fachino said, they received an email that their flag had been reported and they had to take it down.
They complied, but not before taking a closer look at the rules. Fachino told CBS News that they still wanted to find a way to highlight diversity and inclusiveness and to celebrate love and happiness.
"We noticed that removable lights are permitted without restriction so... we bought 6 colored flood lights, and we washed our house in pride colors," Fachino wrote. "A little less subtle than our simple flag. A lot more fun for anyone complaining about the flag itself and what it represents."
Neither Fachino nor Mier were expecting their house to go viral. Fachino said many people responding to his Reddit post seemed to have had bad experiences with their own homeowner's associations, and seemed to be "riled up" because they felt as though the couple were being censored.
Fachino told CBS News that he and his husband were not asked to take down their flag out of hatred, but rather, out of adherence to the rules. The couple has been married for five years, together for eight, and both love where they live, Fachino said.
"We knew it was not against the pride flag itself and what it represents, so we just looked for a different way to showcase that," Fachino said, "and temporary changes to the exterior are allowed in the rules."
The couple plans to keep up the lights for the remainder of Pride Month. They also decorate the outside of their home for Halloween and Christmas, and Fachino said this has "the same feeling behind it."
"It was just a simple gesture of inclusiveness, diversity and representation and that was our main goal," Fachino said. "We're not trying to highlight a struggle where there isn't one. It's just a good old, rounded positive story. We're not being targeted, or feel unsafe in our neighborhood, or having to break through any type of personal attack, it was just doing this in a small cul-de-sac with very low traffic, trying to just show diversity and representation. And I think that's what resonates so much."