An Iowa man was just sentenced to 16 years in prison for the crime of burning a gay pride flag that had been hanging outside a church.
Sixteen years in prison. As in, more than a decade and a half. For stealing and burning a flag.
Adolfo Martinez, 30, was convicted of a felony hate crime, third-degree harassment, and reckless use of fire after he was arrested after stealing a rainbow pride flag hanging at Ames United Church of Christ and burning it outside a strip club on June 11.
According to the Des Moines Register, Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds said the hate crime charges were added because Martinez is suspected of criminal mischief against someone's property because of "what it represents as far as sexual orientation."
While the charges against Martinez carried a combined maximum prison sentence of 6 years and one month, an Iowa judge added additional time because he was a repeat offender.
Now, I’m not saying Martinez is a good guy, or even a halfway decent one. Or that he should have stolen someone else’s flag. Or burned it. Or been at a strip club. None of these things make Martinez out to be the cleanest, most upstanding citizen. In fact, I’m not arguing in any way, shape or form that he shouldn’t spend some time in the pokey for his stunt, particularly if this isn’t his spin around the legal merry-go-round. Destruction of someone else's property, however objectionable it may be to you, is a no-go and should carry consequences.
But 16 years for burning a gay pride flag seems…well, just a bit excessive. And a little too much like someone was trying to make an example out of someone for showing hostility toward the LGBTQLMNOP agenda – which, as we’ve all become painfully aware, has quickly become a virtually untouchable protected class. While militant members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters can verbally assault store employees, assault women in the name of sports, force little girls to change and use the restroom in the company of biological men, bankrupt small business owners, launch frivolous lawsuits against Christians, file false police reports of fake "hate crimes" and accost conservative politicians and their families at home with virtual impunity, burning a piece of rainbow-colored fabric is now worthy of more than a decade and a half behind bars because symbolized “hate” toward a “sexual orientation.”
I wonder if such a harsh sentence would be given to a progressive who, say, physically assaulted a Trump supporter over his MAGA hat – examples of which there are many. And if any have been slapped with a 16-year prison sentence over it, I’ve yet to come across that headline.