Judges to request pride flags be flown over two courthouses in Williamson County

On Tuesday morning during commissioner's court, two justices of the peace in Williamson County will ask for permission to fly a rainbow pride flag over outside of its court buildings. 

The court will either say yes or no to approving the pride flag to fly in front of two buildings at separate locations in Williamson County.

Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Stacy Hackenberg, one of the judges requesting this, says she's very eager to see how Tuesday morning plays out.

She's lived in Williamson County for decades and says she's fought for LGBTQ rights for a long time. 

“We did a little research and found the county didn't really have a policy really regarding a third flag just the US flag and state flag would be flown and the staff would match whatever the governor's office had decreed so there was nothing specific saying we could or couldn't,” Hackenberg said.

She says she and Judge K.T. Musselman, justice of the peace in Precinct 1 have worked together during their campaigns and have known each other for a while. 

Last Thursday they made a request they thought would be answered quietly.

On Tuesday morning, they'll be asking the county's commissioner's court in person, for permission to fly a rainbow pride flag over outside of its court buildings to recognize the rest of National LGBTQ Pride Month. 

Hackenberg says it's made noise because of the history of Williamson County. 

"We have several LGBTQ individuals in our court, I myself identify as queer, several of my clerks, Judge Musselman is our first openly gay JP in Williamson County,” Hackenberg said. “So it's our family and we want to make sure they get the recognition that they deserve for their struggle basically it's been a long fight for their civil rights."  

On Tuesday, they'll also ask for POW and MIA flags to be flown in November the week of Veterans Day. 

Hackenberg says the whole idea behind these flags is to let these communities know they're welcome here, that they'll be protected here, they get a fair shake here, and that the county supports them, their struggles and their sacrifice. 

Hackenberg says social injustice in the LGBTQ community has been ongoing as she's seen in the last legislative session in Texas with the new religious right of refusal bill and how there's still work to be done.

In the meantime, she and Judge Musselman will keep working. She says if they don't allow them to fly their flags at the Precinct 1 and 4 courthouses, they'll display them inside the courtroom. 

“Because at that point they're just decoration and there are no rules that we are aware of that would stop us from decorating as we choose,” Hackenberg said.