For the first time in the town’s history, June has been officially recognized as Pride Month in Burlington.
The Select Board issued a proclamation declaring the recognition during Monday night’s meeting, which was read by Chair Nick Priest who started with some personal words to the community.
“Burlington is part of a nation founded on the principle that all people are created equal and that each person has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he said. “While it is up to all of us to move our community even closer to these ideals, as community leaders we on the Select Board recognize our unique responsibility to both represent and convey our town’s values.”
“We want to strive to be a community where all residents and community members feel safe and to be a place where we are free from discrimination and able to grow into our best and most authentic selves,” Priest continued. “We must commit to fostering this growth in our citizens and in our community through learning, listening and mutual respect because a connected community is a strong community.”
Chair Priest also recognized that to some people this proclamation may be coming a bitter later than they would have liked or expected. During a recent discussion at a meeting concerning the placing of flags, including a Pride Flag, on the Town Common, some residents in support of the LGBTQIA+ community expressed frustration that the town had not taken official action in the past.
“I know this could be seen as too little, too late but I believe it is always the right time to do the right thing,” Priest said in response. “In this proclamation we recognize June as Pride Month here in Burlington in recognition of the achievements of our LGBTQIA+ community and as a declaration of our community’s commitment to embracing the great diversity of our town. Everyone is welcome here in Burlington. I hope this is the first of many proclamations we can issue when it comes to Pride Month.”
Here is the Proclamation:
Whereas, the Town of Burlington supports the rights of every citizen to experience equality and discrimination, welcomes people of diverse backgrounds and believes a diverse population leads to a more vibrant community; and
Whereas, all people of age, color, disability, gender identity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic background have the right to be treated on the basis of their intrinsic value as human being; and
Whereas, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual communities offer many valuable contributions to the cultural, academic, civic, artistic, social and economic successes of the Town of Burlington; and
Whereas, in support of Burlington’s LGBTQIA+ members, groups and leadership in promoting diversity and inclusivity, the Burlington Public School District’s commitment to equity, and our own commitment to eradicate prejudice and discrimination everywhere; now
Therefore, we the Select Board of the Town of Burlington, Massachusetts do hereby proclaim the month of June, 2022, Pride Month in the Town of Burlington and encourage all residents to reflect on the difficult work for equality that LGBTQIA+ members face and celebrate their valuable contributions to our community.
The proclamation was accepted by Town Meeting member, former Town Moderator and members of the LGBTQIA+ community Sally Willard.
“Thank you Nick and Select Board,” Willard said. “As a 37-year resident of Burlington I know there have been many people who have come and gone before me and will come after. I think this is a wonderful proclamation. A little overdo but I understand that.”