Gay marriage activists were photographed last week flipping the bird to a portrait of the late President Ronald Reagan.
Fox News reports that the guests were invited to a reception marking gay pride month last Friday, and images of them were first published by Philadelphia Magazine, showing two of them with middle fingers raised toward Reagan’s portrait. To say that the White House did not approve would be an understatement.
Shin Inouye, a White House spokesman, stated on Friday that:
“While the White House does not control the conduct of guests at receptions, we certainly expect that all attendees conduct themselves in a respectful manner. Most all do. These individuals clearly did not. Behavior like this doesn’t belong anywhere, least of all in the White House.”
Philadelphia Magazine reports that Mark Segal, Matthew Hart, and Zoe Strauss are the people pictured, but that Segal stated:
“It’s not a gesture that I would use in the White House when representing our city and our community. I have friends who work in that building. I’m not going to do something that could embarrass them or that could somehow damage a campaign that is so important. ‘Be on your best behavior,’ my staff told me. I think they know me too well.”
Instead of opting for the more offensive middle finger, Segel opted for a sarcastic thumbs-up toward the portrait of George W. Bush. Fox News reports that Hart defended the gesture, stating:
“Ronald Reagan has blood on his hands. The man was in the White House as AIDS exploded.”
Do you think that Zoe Strauss and Matthew Hart were out of line to flip the bird at a portrait of the late President Reagan inside the White House?