LOVETTSVILLE, Va. — Some members of the Lovettsville community are feeling shock and disbelief after the Lovettsville Town Council denied putting a Pride Month proclamation on its town council agenda.
Council Member Renne Edmonston was the lone council member to make a motion to add it to the May 26 agenda. The motion did not receive a second and failed, bringing an audible gasp from community members in attendance.
“Frustrating and cruel,” Kris Consaul describes the inaction. “That proclamation would have taken them five minutes to read it and say yes, we're going to issue this proclamation on behalf of the members of the LGBT community in Lovettsville and in acknowledgment of their contributions to our town. They decided that it wasn't worth doing and the signal they send is that we are not worth listening to.”
Consaul said she proposed a similar Pride Month proclamation last year after their Pride Month flags were slashed and stolen. The motion failed last year too.
“I didn’t think they were going to issue it, but it never occurred to me that they wouldn't at least have the courage to put it on the agenda and tell us why they weren't going to do it,” Consaul said about the proclamation not even going up for discussion.
Council members issued comments at the end of the meeting, including Council Member Buchanan Smith.
“I certainly regret the way things went this evening, probably not the way I envisioned it happening,” Smith said. “And believe it or not I would just like to second everything Ms. Edmonston said. It was a lot more eloquent than what I would have said. I suppose where we disagree has nothing to do with any of the issues it’s just simply the same as last year where town proclamations aren't generally used for things that don't have broad consensus in the community. By saying that doesn't indicate my feelings on the subject.”
A community member in attendance said the lack of acknowledgment of the proclamation wasn’t unsurprising but doesn’t minimize the impact it had.
“It says that the LGBTQ community isn't even worth talking about. It says that anyone that feels different is different because this community makes them different,” Nicholas Blackburn said.
Consaul said 120 signatures were collected by a member of the community in support of the proclamation.
Despite the town not officially acknowledging Pride Month, Consaul said that isn’t going to stop Pride celebrations or the push for inclusivity.
“We're not going anywhere. We're just not,” Consaul said. “Every time something like this happens, more people in tow, present their visible support either by stopping by to say hello to us or by putting a flag up on their house or by donating money to the cause. We're not going anywhere.”