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Minority group feels left out by City-Parish Government

Posted at 10:57 PM, May 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-30 23:57:34-04

While city officials went out to a ceremony today to deliver a proclamation to a minority community to show support, another group feels they've been left out.

The Lafayette chapter of PFLAG, an LGBTQ+ group, says they have submitted request after request for Mayor-President Josh Guillory to acknowledge Pride Month here in Lafayette.

On Sunday, members of the group were out painting the iconic Y-Lafayette sign in rainbow colors to kick off Pride Month. But the group's president Matthew Humphrey, says he's tired of the city's officials refusing to acknowledge it.

"The current administration is aware of our proclamation, so was the former administration," says Humphrey. "The City Council also attempted to pass a resolution that failed - just to declare Pride Month. I can't remember the number of times we've requested this, but they are aware, be it through requests directly through the office, social media posts, or comments made at public meetings to the city council."

A month into his term, Guillory told The Current that he wasn't going to sign a Pride declaration. You can read that interview here. When asked, he said he didn't think "that's a function of government." But since then, multiple proclamations have been issued; it was one of them that spurred the event Sunday. PFLAG sent a letter to Guillory last week, listing just some of the proclamations Guillory has signed - and publicized on his social media - since he took office in January 2020.

It was Guillory's Chief of Minority Affairs, Carlos Harvin, who attended the ceremony Sunday - which was held just a few feet from the PFLAG folks who were painting the sign.

"I guess my question to Mayor-President Josh Guillory and Mr. Harvin is, What do you define as a minority community? Because I think that we can all agree that the LGBTQ Community is a minority community, and since we do have a chief of minority affairs, I think that it's at least basic respect to reach out and tell me what we can work on together for this group," Humphrey said.

When we asked Harvin that question on Sunday, shortly after Humphrey gave him a copy of the letter he sent last week, Harvin's response was:

"That's something I could have to defer to our Mayor-President and our parish council to deliberate on that issue," Harvin said.

When we reached out to Guillory's spokesman and asked if we could get a comment from Guillory or his administration on the issue today we got a one-word response: "No."

In the meantime, Humphrey and PFLAG Lafayette say they still plan to acknowledge and celebrate Pride Month, and hope that many others in Lafayette will do the same.