Idaho officials reportedly have denied a request from Boise Pridefest organizers to illuminate the state Capitol building in rainbow colors during this weekend’s gay pride festival.
According to the Idaho Statesman, officials cited technical restrictions with the building’s lighting system as the reason for denying the request. The LED lights that decorate the Capitol dome, which typically are white, can project several different colors but cannot display multiple colors at once.
Bob Geddes, director of the Department of Administration, told the newspaper the white lights will be left on for the festival and Pridefest participants are welcome to cast their own rainbow lights on the building, but “there’s no way for us to make the Capitol look like a rainbow.”
However, director of Pridefest events Rodney Busbee voiced skepticism that the lighting system is the root of the problem. Democratic state Rep. Melissa Wintrow also questioned the rationale, as she reportedly renewed a request for the lighting Monday in the wake of the Orlando terror attack on a gay nightclub.
She told the Statesman that Geddes originally gave her the impression the topic was “too political” when the rainbow lighting was first requested several weeks ago. Technical issues, she said, never came up.
But Geddes reportedly confirmed with his staff that “the lighting system does not provide the capability to illuminate the building with a rainbow effect.”
Busbee said Pridefest organizers probably will bring their own rainbow lights for the celebration, which will conclude with a festival at a park in front of the Capitol.
Other buildings and monuments in cities around the world have been lit with rainbow colors this week to show support for the victims of the Orlando attack. This includes city halls in New York, San Francisco and Tel Aviv; the spire of One World Trade Center; TD Garden in Boston; the Dallas skyline; the Sydney Harbor Bridge; and the Eiffel Tower.