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Gay-pride Festivus pole arrives at Florida Capitol

Florida capitol building
Florida capitol building

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Festivus returned to the Florida Capitol for the third consecutive year Monday, this time in a multicolored gay-pride display.

The Florida Department of Management Services approved an application by Deerfield Beach political blogger Chaz Stevens to set up the display to honor the Festivus "holiday."

Festivus started with the TV sitcom "Seinfeld" as a non-commercial festival "for the rest of us" in the Christmas and year-end holiday season.

“Celebrate diversity, celebrate inclusiveness, celebrate the fact that it’s religious freedom for all, not just religious freedom for some," Stevens said. "The point here is very simple: this is an ode to separation of church and state.”

Festivus, celebrated Dec. 23, comes with a ceremonial post-dinner "airing of the grievances" in which participants describe how they have been disappointed by others in the past year and engage in "feats of strength."

Stevens' application for his 2015 "Rainbow gay edition" display -- a 6-foot-6-inch pole with a rainbow sleeve supporting gay rights, topped with a disco ball -- allows him to put up the pole on Dec. 21 and for it to remain in the Capitol's first-floor rotunda through Dec. 28.

The only other end-of-year display approved for the Capitol is a menorah by the Chabad Lubavitch of the Panhandle-Tallahassee. The menorah is also in place.

Stevens said his Festivus pole is expected to go up in nine state capitols around the country this year. He said he’s hoping to get the Festivus pole into all 50 state capitols next year.