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Some council members say June will be Pride Month in Lafayette

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Posted at 1:53 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 12:26:03-04

Mayor-President Josh Guillory won't do it, but some Lafayette City Council members are declaring June as Pride Month in Lafayette.

KATC spoke with Glenn Lazard and Patrick Lewis, the city council members backing this proclamation.

They say other cities around the country recognize June as Pride Month, and Lafayette will not be left out.

“We just thought that it was important for us to recognize that members of the LGBTQ community are members of our community,” said Lazard, who represents District 5.

That recognition is going a long way for members of the queer community. PFLAG President Matthew Humphrey says this is a symbol of inclusion.

"It’s taken a coalition, and it’s taken three years to build it,” said Humphrey. “We have gotten so much support from local businesses, churches, and just people saying, hey this isn’t right.”

Council member Lazard says the city of Lafayette is still polarized on issues like this one, something this proclamation could start to fix.

“So, we are hoping that it's going to help to bridge that gap and have a positive effect as opposed to a negative effect,” he said.

In the past, Mayor-President Guillory said that putting forward a proclamation like this is not the role of government.

“The mayor is certainly entitled to his opinion, we respectfully disagree,” said Lazard.

This proclamation on Tuesday's meeting will declare June of this year Pride Month.

“We might do year by year; it be the wish of the council,” said Lewis, who represents District 1. “If the other council members would like to move forward with it, if the mayor-president would like to move forward with it, we possibly can put it in an ordinance or a resolution.”

PFLAG’s Humphrey says he’s not surprised that the two men of color on the council are the ones backing this proclamation.

He tells KATC, he’s looking forward to the comments and reactions from other members. Nanette Cook, who Humphrey says is a former teacher should be on "the right side of history." He later told KATC, Councilmember Liz Hebert voted for a similar resolution last year, he wonders if she's had a change of heart.

The issue is on the agenda for Tuesday's City Council meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall Auditorium.

In recent weeks, local LGBTQ folks and their allies have called for a proclamation for June as Pride Month. You can read our stories about the issue here, and here.

At the most recent council meeting, demonstrators showed up at City Hall and spoke during the council meeting, asking Guillory and the Council for the proclamation. He denied that his administration is homophobic, but still said he wouldn't sign a proclamation about Pride month.

The last time the council tried to declare Pride Month in Lafayette was in June 2019, before the City-Parish Council was desconsolidated by voters. That measure was a resolution, which did require council vote, and it failed 4-3. At that time the CPC had nine seats and five votes were required to pass the resolution.

The proclamation is a done deal, with the signatures of the two authors - councilmen Pat Lewis and Glenn Lazard - on it, a council staff member tells KATC. If other council members want to add their names and signatures to the proclamation, they can do that any time before Tuesday's meeting, they explained.