Whereas, Every June our nation celebrates LGBT Pride Month in honor of the June 28, 1969 Stonewall riots that served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world and in Columbus Georgia, on June 01st commemorating the Stonewall Inn Riots 50th Anniversary, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and allies come together for a month-long celebration of love, diversity, remembrance, acceptance and unashamed self-pride for the 6th Annual Columbus Georgia LGBT Pride Festival on Broadway.

Whereas, Colgay Pride set out on a mission six years ago to provide our city with its first Broadway City Wide LGBT Pride Festival, to bring all our citizens together, gay and straight alike to celebrate the power of diversity, to create unity in our community, to hear each other’s stories and our impassioned pleas for better legislation and leadership, to honor those who went above and beyond for equality, to entertain, to bring laughter and to share tears together about our amazing journey on the road to equality and for the past five years the Columbus Georgia LGBT Pride Festival has grown to more than 1000 people attending each year and continues to change lives, legislation and perspectives in our community.

Whereas, LGBT Marriage Equality became law of our land in 2015, four years later we are reminded each day that the fight is far from over when it comes to equality and nondiscrimination. Since 2016, Division and Hate amongst Americans has grown to include increased Discriminatory Legislation, Bullying and Hate Crimes including murders of several transgender citizens all pertaining only to Division regarding LGBT Equality. With an atmosphere filled with chaotic and dangerous multi-faceted division the theme of this year’s pride is “End Division and Unite.” Abraham Lincoln said, “A House Divided against itself cannot stand.” We the People have the power to unite and advance the fair treatment of all people, which is the cornerstone of American diplomacy, and we the people must defend and promote the human rights of not only LGBT individuals, but ALL life as a priority in our engagement across this nation.

Whereas, Each year we Honor individuals who have went above and beyond the call of duty, we honor them for their service, their fortitude and the work they do as LGBT Citizens and Allies. This year we honor and recognize David Brazil aka Blaze Star for Lifetime Achievement in Entertainment and Mentoring; Harry Underwood for LGBT Pioneer of the year for his tireless and courageous work for advocacy, equality and education; Raymond Chambless for his tireless and selfless works, protecting our citizens and neighbors while going above and beyond to end division and unite our community; Michele O’Dwyer Johnson for the Design Art Work of the 2019 Official Pride T Shirt; and Former Mayor Teresa Tomlinson with the Lifetime Achievement Leadership Award for her courageous, innovative and visionary leadership that helped bring the LGBT Community where we are today.

Whereas, The fight for dignity and equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people is reflected in the tireless dedication of advocates and allies who strive to forge a more inclusive and united society. This month, we recognize all they have done to bring us to this point, and we recommit to bending the arc of our Country, Our State, and Our Great City toward a more equal, diverse and united nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, B. H. “Skip” Henderson III, MAYOR OF COLUMBUS GEORGIA, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2019 as Columbus Georgia Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice and division everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.