Released: June 9, 2022
Delaware County Council joined County employees, members of the LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual and more) community, and Vice President of U.D.T.J. and the Logistics Coordinator of the Upper Darby Pride Festival Kyle T. McIntyre to raise the Progress Pride Flag outside of the Courthouse on June 8.
The flag was raised in honor of Pride Month, a month dedicated to recognizing the need to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for LGBTQIA+ Americans. Pride Month was established in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan which was considered the tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.
“Today is an exciting day for Delaware County! For the first time in the County’s history- we are raising the Progress Pride flag in recognition of Pride Month,” said Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor. “Today’s flag raising is extremely symbolic. It’s a symbol that our County respects, recognizes, and celebrates the lives of our residents and employees in the LGBTQI+ community. And it’s a reflection of the progress we have made as a nation to cultivate a more accepting and loving society.”
Dr. Taylor noted that our world is a different place than it was just 15 years ago.
In 2015- The Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.
In 2010- The U.S. Senate voted to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, allowing gay people to serve openly in the U.S. Military.
In these past 15 years- companies have changed their policies for health benefits to be inclusive for employees in the LGBTQI+ community.
Restroom signage has changed to include gender-neutral people.
TV shows, movies, and advertisements include members of the LGBTQI+ community.
People in the LGBTQI+ community and allies have begun to display pronouns to help one another know how to refer to a person with respect.
And the world is drastically different than it was almost 100 years ago when the first milestone in the American Gay Rights Movement was documented. In 1924, The Society for Human Rights was founded by Henry Gerber in Chicago. The Society is the first Gay Rights Organization as well as the oldest documented in America. After receiving a charter from the state of Illinois, the society published the first American publication for homosexuals called “Friendship and Freedom.” Soon after its founding, the society sadly disbanded due to political pressure.
Delaware County is doing its part to expand and continue to make progress. Earlier this year, the County added a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer to the County team. The creation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer has been a priority of the current Council. The newly created position will have a broad mandate to review current government operations, including the operations of the County’s new health department, guidance to the County’s Human Resources Department and the Purchasing Office, support for Parks and Recreation, and support to criminal justice.
“As the County continues to make progress- we know there is much more work that needs to be done to foster a community where we not only tolerate diversity—but we celebrate it,” said Taylor. “Everyone deserves to live a life where we feel respected, valued, and safe.”
The Progress Pride Flag will fly outside of the Delaware County Courthouse and the Government Center through the month of June.