WHEREAS, the Borough of Flemington recognizes that June is traditionally recognized internationally as a month of celebration by LGBTQI people,
On Facebook this week, in a group some of my Flemington neighbors use to chat about local events, there was a spike in heat, and maybe light too, about this town’s recognition of June as Pride month. Some people had questions, some of those questions seemed to tip over into contempt. But the answers were just magnificent.
AND WHEREAS, June is commonly called LGBTQI Pride Month,
At Borough Council regular meeting Monday, a resolution was introduced recognizing June as LGBTQI Pride Month, here in town, and like it’s celebrated in towns and cities across the USA.
AND WHEREAS, the Borough Flemington values the importance and value of diversity among its citizens, employees, and business owners,
The resolution was added to the night’s ‘consent agenda’ of items considered routine, and not in need of discussion or they’d be on the regular agenda. Sometimes it seems like very little about Flemington Council meetings is routine or without words, sometimes heated words. Smack in the middle of our Main Street is a semi-famous big structure – the Union Hotel, connected to the Lindbergh Baby Trial – that is shuttered and empty after years of neglect, and occasionally shedding bricks off its decaying backside. Birds fly in and out. A tree grows inside it. And what to do – rip it down, preserve it as landmark, erect tall buildings on its ashes – pits neighbor against neighbor here. These are the stakes in local political campaigns, the reasons longtime friends no longer speak. There are lawsuits, there is stand-taking, there is shouting.
AND WHEREAS, the Borough of Flemington has in place policies prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQI residents and employees,
But not this issue. The Pride resolution, introduced by Council member Betsy Driver, was passed with no discussion needed, and unanimously. And that is a very good thing. A step toward the good for this town, and an achievement for Driver herself. She is intersex, and married to a woman here in town. But all kinds of people are ready to celebrate Pride along with the LGBTQI community here; that much was clear as people jumped in to several threads in the local Facebook group.
AND WHEREAS, the Borough of Flemington recognizes that LGBTQI residents, employees, and business owners in Flemington have worked hard to make our community a welcoming and diverse community,
Some of the convo was a little disturbing – as when a resident appeared to mock a community that sometimes identifies by letter, with “LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ” calling Pride a demand for “special rights” – the dreaded gay “agenda.” And this: “I prefer not to discuss my genitals in public.” Gah, nobody’s asking you to. Fortunately, there were dozens of replies in this conversation, all of whom countered with good reasons why bringing Pride to this little town can be a wonderful thing.
AND WHEREAS, the Borough of Flemington encourages the work of advocates who dedicate their time and efforts to the equality of all persons. We recognize the impact LGBTQI individuals have had on our community and the Borough of Flemington continues to encourage all individuals to celebrate the great diversity of the American people,
That discussion, dozens of comments, did us all proud, on both sides of this conversation. June will be Pride Month in Flemington, New Jersey.
THEREFOR, in recognition of LGBTQI Pride Month, Mayor and Council hereby proclaim the month of June, as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning & Intersex (LGBTQI) Pride Month” in the Borough of Flemington.
Can I get an AMEN?