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Tuolumne County Passes LGBTQ Pride Resolution Following Debate

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Sonora, CA — With a 4-1 vote, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors voted to declare June as LGBTQ Pride Month.

The item was initially placed on the consent portion of Tuesday’s meeting agenda, which is a list of items to be voted on together, to speed up the process, as they are typically uncontroversial.

District 3 Supervisor Anaiah Kirk requested the Pride resolution be pulled from the consent portion and be taken up individually. He questioned county staff about how the item got onto the agenda, and supervisors Jaron Brandon and Ryan Campbell stated that they both requested that it be included.

The public was allowed to comment on the item and 10 people spoke, sharing a mix of arguments both for and against. Those in favor touched on discrimination against the LGBTQ community, and those opposed referenced things like Bible scripture and that it is government overreach.

Two Sonora City Council members also weighed in, with Suzanne Cruz speaking against the resolution and Andy Merrill being in favor.

Supervisor Kirk stated, “I really have, and so do a lot of members of the community, fundamental disagreements with the (LGBTQ) lifestyle, and some of those things.” Kirk also referenced “transgender influence” on young children. He indicated that if the proposal continues to come up each year, he will always vote no.

Supervisor Brandon argued that discrimination against the LGBTQ community is real. He spoke about the death of one of his fraternity brothers in college who was gay and faced discrimination. Adding, “Adam grew up in a household that didn’t accept him. Maybe they loved him as parents, but they made him feel unloved for who he was. In my second year of college when I had just joined that fraternity, Adam hung himself from a powerline because he could never get over what he dealt with.”

Supervisor Campbell chimed in, “The reason why these resolutions are important, and need to come up, is there is persecution and hatred toward people who are trans and LGBTQ. If you read the resolution, there is nothing in there about promoting influence over children or coercion.”

The other two supervisors, Kathleen Haff and David Goldemberg, were also strongly in support of the measure.

This is the second time that Tuolumne County has recognized LGBTQ Pride Month.

In the City of Sonora, the council voted down a similar proposal last year, 2-3. It has not come up again this year before the city council.