Lovettsville Council Again Balks at Pride Month Recognition

The Lovettsville Town Council again came under fire from residents Thursday night after it refused to consider a ceremonial resolution recognizing June as Pride Month.

Councilwoman Renee Edmonston made a motion to add the proclamation to the meeting’s agenda, but not one other member of the council offered the support required to bring it to the floor for discussion. 

After the council refused to adopt Pride Month resolution last year, resident Caitlin Keefe said she worked over the past several weeks to gain input from council members to craft a resolution that they would support. Only Edmonston and Tony Quintana were responsive, she said.

“I have never been so disappointed and so dismayed at my neighbors that represent this town. And need I remind you, you represent all of the town, not just the ones that are on your same level with your values or your beliefs. You represent everybody. I’m very disappointed. I’m horrified,” she said.

Other supporters of the resolution who gathered in the meeting room said the council’s inaction was an exhibit of bigotry and cowardice, and served only to further isolate members of the LBGTQ community who experience discrimination.

Sheryl Frye recalled the death by suicide of a town teen a few years ago.  “It rocked many of us,” she said. “Aidan suffered here. He was bullied. He didn’t feel this town valued the LBGT community, and you proved him right again tonight.”

“A pride proclamation can be a small pebble, and its waves of hope to the LBGT youth in this community can be huge. I would love to see Lovettsville that is a place of love and acceptance for all the members of the community,” Frye said.

Shelly Thomlinson noted that Pride Month is recognized by the federal government and recalled conversations with council members a year ago after vandals targeted pride flags in town. 

“I sat in the pavilion and Mayor Fontaine and several other town council members who were there. And I remember the conversation being, we don’t understand why we are not perceived as inclusive.  …  But this right here is why,” she said. “I’m sorry, but don’t ask us about being inclusive when you can’t even put it on the darn agenda. … I’m sorry, but you’re just sending a really awful message.”

Earlier in the meeting, the council adopted a resolution sought by the town’s American Legion Auxiliary Unit to recognize National Poppy Day, as part of Memorial Day activities. Replicas of the flowers had been passed out in the audience, but many came to the podium to give them back, some noting that those who died in miliary service also defended the rights of LBTGQ citizens and that some who served were gay. 

Responding to the criticism at the close of Thursday’s meeting, council members offered little explanation of their refusal to second Edmonston’s motion. Several said they didn’t expect the issue to turn out that way.

“I will just say that it was a difficult day. It was challenging at every juncture. And I hope we can make amends somehow,” Quintana said.

Vice Mayor Christopher Hornbaker said the proclamation didn’t meet the council’s adopted standards in it was not linked to a local event or business, but said Lovettsville is a welcoming and cooperative community. “We support existing and welcoming new businesses organizations and residents into the community, treating our neighbors our neighbors with dignity and respect all of our neighbors’ dignity and respect and promoting volunteering, volunteerism, community service and cooperation,” he said.

Edmonston said she supported the declaration as part of her philosophy to defend liberty and personal sovereignty.

“Lovettsville is full of harmony. Conflict can and does exist in the smallest corners of most areas of society, but we must not let the conflict among so few issues distort the hope and peace that exists within the vast majority of mankind who choose to live their lives privately, respectfully, caringly and these hardworking contributors of our great society,” she said. “Respecting human dignity, striving for mutual respect and ensuring equal opportunity are nonpartisan values. There are goals we can and should all work towards together. To the LBGTQ+ community of Lovettsville, you are my neighbors, you are part of the Lovettsville community.”

Mayor Nate Fontaine, who does not have a vote on the council and was ineligible to second the motion, pointed out that the council could still adopt the resolution or another version one of its June meetings.

“The proclamation that came back in my opinion was not divisive, was not partisan and did not play politics. That proclamation was celebratory of giving recognition to a portion of our, of our populace here. I don’t understand why we could not even get a second to even have that discussion here this evening,” he said.

“Today’s proclamation was a small, powerful support for a portion of our community that happens to be recognized both federally at the state level and the local levels as well, right, so this is not a political argument. This is not a divisive argument. These are members of our community who live here. These are members who served in our military,” Fontaine said. “Our inability to recognize them surprises me.”

This draft Pride Month proclamation was not added to the Lovettsville Town Council’s May 26 meeting for consideration after only one member supported discussing it.

20 thoughts on “Lovettsville Council Again Balks at Pride Month Recognition

  • 2022-05-27 at 5:42 pm
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    I thought council member Edmonston was awesome. Kudos to her for introducing the LGBT Proclamation. But I lost so much respect for council members Earl, Hornbaker, Pritz, Quintana & Smith. Not one of them would lift a finger of support. I wouldn’t vote for them for dog catcher. On a brighter note, best wishes to all for a blessed Memorial Day weekend.

  • 2022-05-27 at 6:13 pm
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    This is one of the many reasons why Lovettsville doesn’t have the volunteer support for town events that it previously had. They can support a toothless 2nd Amendment resolution but can’t support a LGBTQ resolution. Try meeting residents half way and the Town would be much better off.
    Interesting how Bobby Zoldos, a proud “R”, could bring the Town together for amazing events but this council can’t remotely muster the effort.

    Hornbaker’s quote is joke. I’m sure he’s just biding his time ’til Fontaine steps down and he can run for the Mayor’s position. Then he can be the little Cartman he has always imagined himself. “You will respect my author-ah-tay!”

  • 2022-05-27 at 8:19 pm
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    The Lovettsville Town Council is leading from the rear when it comes to Equal Rights. This is the 21st century where community leaders know better… except…

    • 2022-05-28 at 12:26 pm
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      There aren’t rights afforded to all Americans under the US Constitution? Do tell….

  • 2022-05-28 at 11:11 am
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    So much for a town that begins with “Love”! Add to this mix is the gun shop owner in town “proudly” offered AR15’s for sale at Christmas with a sign promoting his sales of this hideous gun. What has happened to Lovettsville? It used to be a nice little town and now it is not. I lived there for 15 years before moving away, but this is not the town we left in 2015.

  • 2022-05-28 at 12:04 pm
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    Incredibly disappointed, but not at all surprised. The current TC continues to show us who they are. Don’t forget it when it’s time to vote. And if you live in the Town of Lovettsville, please consider running for office – if I lived in town, I would. These people have no business representing this town. Shame on you Lovettsville TC!

    Thank you Ms. Edmonston for bringing the proclamation to the board.

  • 2022-05-30 at 3:34 am
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    The alphabets want to be equal but special.
    I say good for the councilmembers who stand up to the hypocrisy spewed by these sick people. Condoning the lack of moral standards is not activism it is wactivism.
    Using the federal government as a benchmark is a feeble argument.

    • 2022-05-30 at 2:00 pm
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      Imagine that. People want to be equal. How dare they! Thank God the elected representatives of LoveitorLeaveitsville know that there’s only one truly set of equal people–those who have given themselves over to the Christian Nationalist Army.

    • 2022-05-31 at 6:47 am
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      It’s the bigotry and ignorance in this comment that makes a proclamation as critical as ever.

    • 2022-05-31 at 9:55 am
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      norge53 comments suggest he/she may prefer living under sharia law such as in Afghanistan or Iran, or maybe go to Russia under Putin’s anti-gay propaganda laws, or well, he could try China if he prefers that type of regime that does heavy censoring of LGBTQ content, etc… A lack of understanding that a group of HUMAN BEINGS that have greatly suffered, been murdered, ostracized, and other restrictions, just because of a sexual preferences, sounds more like norge53 is the one with issues.

    • 2022-06-01 at 12:56 am
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      You mean special, like holding tax-exempt property like churches? Or like being able to discriminate in hiring, like churches? So weird when one protected class uses their protected status to attack a tiny minority.

  • 2022-05-30 at 1:57 pm
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    What happens if there are more than 12 classifications of people who want a month celebrated for themselves?

    • 2022-05-31 at 10:37 am
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      That’s easy… the leftists will create the New American Equity Calendar and add extra months to the calendar the same way they keep spending with money they keep printing. This means we won’t be celebrating New Year’s Day on January 1 of the year following when this goes into effect because it would violate equity to start the new year until all special groups have their special month. This will continue until we complete the cycle of special months… except we will never be able to do that because more special months will be added as more groups want their own. And because the year cannot advance, everyone will magically stop aging.

  • 2022-05-30 at 2:34 pm
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    LBTG activism has evolved from demanding respect and “rights” to demanding special treatment and advantage, including the “right” to indoctrinate kids.
    Those that resist their demands are cancelled or extorted.
    Not unlike the BLM BS.
    Live your life as you see fit but get out of my face.

  • 2022-05-31 at 7:59 am
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    Look I am for gay rights and all, because at the end of the day, it’s your life not mine. I know many in the gay community that are good people and good friends. Where I think they have gone off the rails are these never ending classifications that they come out with! I mean, it’s getting crazy to a point where just being a gay man or lesbian woman are dated and considered too old-school. You now are “in” if let’s say you classify yourself as someone who is a non-binary person who is attracted to only cisgender persons of color. Have you seen how many different flags are out there for different classifications?! Good lord. Now it’s basically LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ+

    • 2022-06-02 at 10:00 am
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      norges53 Do you possibly think maybe some of your “good friends” are wondering why you called them “sick?”

      • 2022-06-02 at 5:27 pm
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        Nope, not at all, a man has his duty, and a woman has her duty. See Matt Walsh interview of African tribesmen.

  • 2022-06-01 at 12:30 am
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    Looks like nothing more than GOP showing how anti-American this party has become. The fact that some of GOP in Congress actually voted against aid for Ukraine, support the wacko Taylor Greene, wasting votes on Hershel Walker in Georgia just paints a picture of a party with no interest in working for America, just themselves. And today, the ancient clueless Moscow Mitch McConnell actually bragging about how he blocked Obama’s SCOTUS pick, actually chortling that it was his finest hour. I can only take solace that since McConnell has me by about 45 years that one fine day I will awaken to the news that he has died, and I will do a jig and applaud this blot on America would be gone! Same for Trump too! I can’t wait.

  • 2022-06-02 at 7:24 am
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    After 8 years on the school board (2003-2011) I am still amazed school board members are still reticent to force the public disclosure of school related bullying events. Until people appreciate the VOLUME of assaults and batteries done in our schools everyday to students the sensitivity is at the wrong level and the solutions are not employed. Try to imagine what it is really like to be constantly bullied in your school of a 1000 other students when NONE of the adults are actually accountable to prevent or stop it! Let’s start to fix the problem for ALL students not celebrate differences as if that really solves anything. 🙂

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