Lovettsville Council Again Nixes LGBTQ Proclamation

A second effort to have the Lovettsville Town Council adopt a proclamation supporting the LGBTQ community during June failed Thursday. 

Following a May meeting during which a proposed proclamation to recognize June as Pride Month did not make it to a vote, the council this week was divided on whether to consider a proclamation marking the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall clashes between protesters for gay rights and police in New York City.

Three council members voted to add the proclamation to the next meeting agenda for discussion and three opposed it, stating it did not comply with town’s policy for such ceremonial recognitions. Lacking support of a two-thirds majority, the motion failed.

As in the May meeting, the action followed a public comment session during which speakers line up to urge the council to show support of LBTGQ residents in the hopes of reducing the threat of suicides and curbing bullying, and to point out that other local government bodies in Loudoun already have adopted Pride Month resolutions.

Councilwoman Renee Edmonston, who last month found no support among her colleagues to consider the Pride Month declaration, made the motion to add the Stonewall Riots Remembrance Day proclamation to the next meeting agenda. This time she got support from Councilmen Buchanan Smith, who seconded the motion, and Tony Quintana, who said he learned more about the concerns earlier in the week after attending a School Board meeting where a Pride Month resolution was debated and adopted.

Edmonston said it was important for the community to find common ground and to promote kindness, understanding and civility. “We are all guilty. We are all guilty of judgment and we are all guilty of our own selfish gains. But we must seek to let go,” she said.

While supporting the proclamation in concept, Smith said the wording of the would need further tweaking to conform to the town’s policies before an adoption vote. He said while many people may not support every element of the national LBGTQ political platformthere should be a way to show support their neighbors in town. He also objected to criticism from some speakers that a failure to adopt the Pride Month resolution had demonstrated intolerance or hatred.  “It can’t be disputed that this is a controversial matter,” he said. 

However, Smith said he once worked near the Stonewall Inn and said that a proclamation recognizing the riots as a significant event shouldn’t be controversial.

But Councilwoman Joy Pritz said the proposed proclamation was controversial and violation of the council’s policy. Councilman David Earl raised concerns that making an exception for the LBGTQ proclamations could open the door for even more controversial declarations to reach the council.

Vice Mayor Christopher Hornbaker, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Nate Fontaine, said the proclamation was not needed to demonstrate Lovettsville’s support for all its residents.

He pointed to two speakers criticizing the council’s actions who said they recently moved to town, saying that demonstrated Lovettsville was welcoming community where people want to raise their families. He also read the three pillars of the town’s adopted values statement, including support for a “cooperative community where we support and welcome new businesses organizations and residents into the community, treating our neighbors with dignity and respect and promoting volunteerism, community service and cooperation.”

“That is what Lovettsville still stands for. While I can’t speak for everybody, that’s why I moved here. That’s why I’ve remained here,” he said.

“These are friends. These are our teachers. These are our families … and the support and acceptance that we show in our lives doesn’t need to be judged by whether we adopt a proclamation or not. It’s judged how we treat members of any community and that’s why I will continue to treat members of any community, including the LGBTQ plus community, with dignity and respect,” Hornbaker said.

8 thoughts on “Lovettsville Council Again Nixes LGBTQ Proclamation

  • 2022-06-10 at 5:34 pm
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    At least one council in Loudoun stands tall, Lovettsville Town Council!

    • 2022-06-12 at 12:42 pm
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      Stands tall? Yep, to show the world its ugly head for all to see how heartless they are. Lovettsville has now become the laughingstock of the US and the world. You think this news of the L’ville Council stays here, wrong, the world sees it as proof that Lovettsville is not a town that begins with “love.”

  • 2022-06-10 at 5:44 pm
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    Good for the town council. They have a clear policy that such ceremonial proclamations should be “non-controversial.” Given the margin by which Virginia voted down gay marriage, not to mention all the squabbling over this measure in particular, it’s evident that this would be indeed controversial, to say the least.

  • 2022-06-10 at 7:16 pm
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    What is wrong with Lovettsville? The LGBT+ community is trying to put forth this proclamation with as much dignity as possible. And some council members continue to drag them into the gutter. What gives? Would you rather have folks live in the shadows, acting out sexually in seedy establishments? How is that good public policy? Please let the LGBT+ community take its rightful place in society, alongside everyone else. Happy Pride Month Loudoun!

    • 2022-06-13 at 12:20 pm
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      This has nothing to do with living in the shadows or acting out in “seedy” establishments. A proclamation on “pride” month isn’t needed to support people of this “group”. IMHO I think most gays just want to live their life in peace and not have all this attention. It’s a small fringe group that wants to push this on everyone to accept their “unusual” lifestyle.

  • 2022-06-12 at 9:53 am
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    Proclamations are a waste of time and do not do anything but divide people. Every time a proclamation is made, you support one group and upset another. So why do it at all. When President Biden came to office he said he wanted to unify the country, well this is not doing it. If Lovettsville has a Support of Gun owners tomorrow it would make some groups happy and some groups unhappy. Enough with dividing us, no more proclamations!! Surely the town council has better things to spend their time on.

  • 2022-06-13 at 2:23 pm
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    Enough of these useless government proclamations. They are nothing more than soft coercion and are often misused by activists that want to play gotcha with elected officials.
    It is a weak person that is finds succor in a proclamation. It is an even weaker person that finds offense when a proclamation isn’t given.

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