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Columbia Heights Mayor Declines to Sign Proclamation for Gay Pride Parade

by Sam Cronin
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Jul 10, 2019
Columbia Heights Mayor Declines to Sign Proclamation for Gay Pride Parade

LGBTQ community members in Columbia Heights, Minnesota have organized the city's first Gay Pride parade, and have petitioned the mayor to sign an official proclamation recognizing the day of the parade as an LGBTQ Awareness Day. The Mayor has reportedly declined to sign such a proclamation due to the group's request not following official guidelines.

Members of the Columbia Heights Pride Organization and other partners say they reached out to Mayor Donna Schmitt a few weeks ago to inquire, but according to Fox 9 News, their emails and phone calls went unanswered until last week when they finally met with the mayor.

According to a statement by the Mayor, "Nowhere does it state or has been implied that I'm against individuals in the LGBTQ community. We have denied three other proclamations in the last couple of months."

The Mayor told ABC 5 News that the guidelines with which the Pride Organization did not comply were drafted the same week the event organizers began their inquiry.

Members of the LGBTQ community went to City Hall Monday to protest the decision, voicing concern during the public comments section of the meeting.

Event organizer Amada Marquez Simula said she felt slighted by the Mayor's response, telling ABC: "She didn't think that it was important enough for a proclamation... Right now, the eye is on Columbia Heights that our city government is biased against the LGBTQ community," Simula said.

Responding to the allegations of bias, the Mayor told ABC the decision was not motivated by any discriminatory feelings toward any group.

"I just hope they realize, they don't represent everyone in the city either," Schmitt said.

Despite no official proclamation by the Mayor, the parade will go on as planned, Saturday, July 13 at 2pm at Sullivan Lake Park in Columbia Heights.

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