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Redmond city councilors approve city’s first Pride Month proclamation after hearing from supporters, opponents

Redmond city councilors approve proclamation declaring June as 'Pride Month.'
City of Redmond
Redmond city councilors approve proclamation declaring June as 'Pride Month.'

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Redmond City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to proclaim June as Pride Month, a first such step for the city, after more than a dozen people addressed them on the topic, some but not all in favor of the move.

Several who spoke during citizen comments thanked councilors and Mayor Ed Fitch for recognizing June as Pride Month, sending a message that the LGBTQ+ community is safe and accepted in Redmond.

"To our mayor, city councilors, city managers and city staff, thank for envisioning and leading Redmond into the future with respect, community care and unity in mind," one speaker said.

Others spoke to the broader community, and some also to those who opposed to the move: "Please, choose love, not fear," an immigrant resident told the council.

Several opponents offered a religious perspective, in stark terms: "Elevating and celebrating sodomy and all other forms of sexual deviancy unabashed in a community as 'diversity, inclusion and fairness' is simply collective rebellion of the highest order."

Another man offered a different proclamation, with items such as that "voters believe that sexual proclivities should be kept private and in the confines of one's own residence."

Mayor Ed Fitch then thanked the audience for the civility in their comments, “with a couple exceptions,” and councilors had a chance to speak before the vote.

Councilor Tobias Colvin said he was a Colorado State University freshman in 1998 when less than 50 miles away, Matthew Shepard was “brutally tortured and put on a fence and left to die … for how he chose to love.” He said the opposition that was heard this night “shows that we have work to do in education and understanding that this community is our neighbors, they’re our family, they’re our friends.”

Colleague Clifford Evelyn said, “We’re not trying to force anything down anyone’s throat. What we’re saying is we want everyone to be treated equally and with fairness.”

Councilor John Nielsen said he served as an Army paratrooper at a time of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the military, with several fellow soldiers who were closeted due to that policy. One, he said, was a medic who saved his life after a severe injury when his parachute malfunctioned.

A couple of councilors did share some concerns about how the council did not have a chance to discuss the proclamation before it appeared on the consent agenda.

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