On Thursday, May 26, the Arlington Select Board declared that June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month in Arlington. The five-member board unanimously approved a Pride Month proclamation from the Rainbow Commission. Read the full proclamation below or download a copy here.
WHEREAS: the month of June is recognized nationally as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month to commemorate the resistance by LGBTQIA+ people against on-going harassment and abuse by New York City police at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 which marked the beginning of the modern LGBTQIA+ rights movement; and
WHEREAS: that uprising was one of many acts of resistance to the enforcement of unjust laws and the local-, state-, and federally-sanctioned harassment and abuse of LGBTQIA+ people, Black people, Hispanic/Latinx people, Asian people, Indigenous people, women, and antiwar and pro-Democracy activists; and
WHEREAS: legal and legislative advocacy, political demonstrations, and social change efforts to create a more equitable world by all of these marginalized groups defined the second half of the 1960s; and
WHEREAS: that work continues today by people of all races, ethnicities, genders, abilities, ages, and sexual orientations, and
WHEREAS: deeply meaningful acts by residents of Arlington have contributed to efforts to create a town in which everyone’s humanity and dignity is recognized and honored, and
WHEREAS: these acts include the unanimous passage by Town Meeting of Article 18 in 2016 adding gender identity and expression to the town of Arlington’s non-discrimination provisions; the creation by Town Meeting of the LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission in 2017 to promote LGBTQIA+-affirming policies for all residents of the town of Arlington; and approval of an historic Domestic Partnership Bylaw by Town Meeting in 2021 that recognizes the diverse composition of families in Arlington and that the perpetuation of the traditional meaning of ‘family’ excludes a significant segment of the town’s population, and
WHEREAS: the town of Arlington was one of only 10 municipalities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to earn a spot on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2021 Municipal Equality Index and one of seven in the state to earn a perfect score; and
WHEREAS: the LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission is aware that in Massachusetts LGBTQIA+ people of all ages are more likely to experiences disparities in health and wellbeing as compared with their straight and cisgender peers and that these disparities are even greater among transgender and LGBTQIA+ people of color; and
WHEREAS: the town of Arlington’s 2021 “Youth Risk Behavior Assessment“ found that genderqueer students reported the highest rates of mental health issues with 68 percent of genderqueer high school students reporting that their mental health was “not good most of the time or always” as compared with 27 percent of all high school students, and 52 percent of genderqueer middle school students reporting that their mental health was “not good most of the time or always” as compared with 23 percent of all middle school students, and
WHEREAS: the LGBTQIA+ community in Arlington is resilient, creative, and innovative, and enjoys strong allied partnerships with the town’s Human Rights Commission, Disability Commission, Council on Aging, Commission for Arts and Culture, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Police Department, and numerous other groups, residents, and elected officials that support the LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission’s work to bring greater visibility and empowerment to the LGBTQIA+ population through education, advocacy, and collaboration with other Town agencies, schools, and community groups; and
WHEREAS: Celebrating LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, in part, by displaying Rainbow Commission Pride flags in Arlington Center and issuing this proclamation are outward representations of the Town’s commitment to full inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community in Arlington’s civic life.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the Members of the Select Board, reaffirm our support for equal protections for LGBTQIA+ residents of Arlington.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we designate June 2022 as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month in Arlington.