GREEN BAY, Wisc. — A municipality officially declaring June ‘Pride Month’ is more than symbolic. It can directly make the city a more welcoming and inclusive place to live. Other cities are ahead of the game in celebrating Pride – and it’s important Marquette step up in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ community. Eric Genrich, Green Bay’s mayor, declared June ‘Pride Month’ this afternoon with a meaningful Facebook post.
This year’s Pride Month honors the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, when a municipality sent law enforcement to a gay bar and evoked unrest and resistance. Let’s recognize #PrideMonth is not always an easy month for our LGBTQIA+ community, and steer away from corporate rainbow washing.
Specific things I hope Marquette can do to embrace all members of our city is an official recognition of Pride Month, more support for Pride Fest, gender-neutral language on official city documents, and a robust review of any discriminatory policies. Marquette needs to be a better ally. tiny.cc/LGBTQIACharities
In December 2015 the City passed an ordinance to protect the LGBTQIA+ community, but we need to use our power as a municipality and pass a resolution in support of the state legislature amending the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act to include full protections. Further, Marquette is not yet listed on Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, which rates cities based on how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are to an area’s LGBTQ population. We have some work to do!
I have taken the liberty to change the word “Green Bay” to Marquette, to encourage current City Commissioners to adopt similar declaration and policy. Here’s an example of what it could look like in Marquette… E-mail me if you think we can improve upon the language.
Whereas, the City of Marquette values the lives and contributions of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community members; and
Whereas, June 28, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, which is generally recognized as one of the most important historical events in the civil rights struggle of LGBTQ Americans; and
Whereas, the city of Marquette is committed to building a community that is open to and inclusive of the perspectives and experiences of a diverse population, including LGBTQ residents; and
Whereas, we recognize and embrace the responsibility to create a city workplace that is supportive of LGBTQ employees and responsive to their needs; and
Whereas, we are committed to significantly improving our community’s score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, which rates cities based on how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are to an area’s LGBTQ population;
Now, Therefore, we, Marquette City Commission, do hereby proclaim June 2019 to be Pride Month in Marquette and encourage all residents of our community to recognize and celebrate our fellow Marquette residents who identify as LGBTQ.