LAKE STEVENS, Wash. – June was declared as “Pride Month” during the May 25 Lake Stevens city council meeting. Councilwoman Anji Jorstad read the proclamation during the online meeting, but the majority of time was devoted to discussion, community input, and ultimately the formation of a Community Advisory Council. Community members largely advocated for a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access commission rather than a council, arguing a DEIA commission would have increased transparency and access compared to the council.
During the meeting, Mayor Brett Gailey said, “I see this council leading our community in celebrating diversity as an important asset in our welcoming city.”
Pride Month was not mentioned beyond the reading of the proclamation, but Lake Stevens Councilwoman Mary Dickinson did wear a shirt with the word “PROUD” and a heart in the colors of the rainbow—likely in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
The proclamation states that the mayor and city council declare June “Pride Month” to celebrate the “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, and 2 spirit (LGBTQIAA2 or LGBTQ+) community.” They also affirmed that “LGBTQ+ rights are human rights” and stated their commitment to “action that increases the safety, security, and freedom of each of their LGBTQ+ citizens.”
It goes on to list the historical events that influenced the declaration. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 began after New York City police raided a gay club called the Stonewall Inn. The protests and clashes that followed are largely attributed as the beginnings of the Gay Rights Movement. The second event that inspired Pride Month was the Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015. The court’s decision guarantees the fundamental right to marry applies to same-sex couples.
The proclamation states that “despite national progress, the LGBTQ+ community…” faces continued discrimination, prejudice, and “the denial of basic human rights.” It mentions that according to the CDC, LGBTQ+ youth are almost 5 times as likely to attempt suicide, as was previously reported in the 988 hotline article. It also references a study by the UCLA Williams Institute that indicates LGBTQ+ youth are twice as likely to experience homelessness.
LGBTQ+ Pride Month is not to be confused with LGBT History Month, which occurs in October in the US.