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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 18, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 51
Gay rights Festivus pole headed to Olympia Capitol
Section One
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Gay rights Festivus pole headed to Olympia Capitol

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The Humanity Fund, an organization supporting LGBT rights, won a spot for a Gay Rights Festivus Pole to be displayed along with a nativity scene and other religious displays on the Olympia State Capitol grounds.

The Humanity Fund works to get a 'Festivus pole' into state capitols to represent an alternative viewpoint to the typical nativities and menorahs.

It started with the Tallahassee, Florida Capitol in 2013. News of the Festivus Pole's arrival at the Florida Capitol went viral and got featured on 'The Daily Show,' 'The Colbert Report' and Fox News.

Festivus is a fictitious holiday invented by the character Frank Costanza on 'Seinfeld,' which introduces an antidote to Christmas consumerism with a spare aluminum pole as its decorative symbol. It's celebrated with the airing of grievances and feats of strength.

The Humanity Fund's Festivus Pole differs from the original version. The Festivus Pole that will be on display in Olympia is painted with purple glitter, covered in the colors of the rainbow and topped with an 8-inch disco ball. It's about 6-feet-6-inches tall.

The Humanity Fund's Festivus Pole has made its way into Springfield, Illinois; Lansing, Michigan; and Washington, D.C., and is awaiting approval from the Oklahoma and Missouri state capitols.

The Festivus pole will be located by the Tivoli Fountain on the Capitol Campus in Olympia, about 25 feet from the nativity.

'Three displays have been approved on the Capitol grounds this year: a Christmas nativity, a Winter Solstice display and the Gay Rights Festivus Pole,' said Curt Hart, spokesman for the state Department of Enterprise Services.

A Menorah was also approved for Sylvester Park, a nearby park in downtown Olympia. It was set up December 4 and is scheduled to come down December 18.

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