Northwest suburban towns issue Pride month resolutions

  • Five years after political controversy was sparked with the flying of the rainbow flag in Des Plaines, a number of Northwest suburban towns are signing onto proclamations recognizing Pride month, amid other events and commemorations.

    Five years after political controversy was sparked with the flying of the rainbow flag in Des Plaines, a number of Northwest suburban towns are signing onto proclamations recognizing Pride month, amid other events and commemorations. Courtesy of Des Plaines Public Library

 
 
Updated 5/27/2021 5:35 PM

Arlington Heights, Barrington and Elk Grove Village are the latest Northwest suburbs to issue proclamations ahead of Pride month in June.

Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said Thursday that the village board came to consensus on a draft proclamation that will be released on the village's social media channels Friday. Hayes plans to read the proclamation at the next board meeting June 7.

 

It was proposed earlier this month by Trustee Tom Schwingbeck, who said a formal declaration to recognize the LGBTQ community would be fitting with the board's larger discussion on diversity, equity and inclusion issues. A majority of board members declared their support for the proclamation at that May 10 meeting.

On Tuesday, Elk Grove Mayor Craig Johnson announced he and board members signed off on a proclamation recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month. The document urges "all residents to recognize the contributions made by members of the LGBTQ community and to actively promote the principles of equality, liberty and justice for all."

"This community is very open. We're a very open, inclusive community," Johnson said. "No matter where you're from, what your beliefs are, we welcome you all. And Elk Grove's a great town because of that."

Johnson noted organizers are planning an Elk Grove Pride Celebration from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 13, at Prince of Peace United Methodist Church, 1400 Arlington Heights Road.

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Approval of the Respect in Barrington Pride proclamation Monday came after an April meeting in which advocates called for such a declaration following acts of vandalism targeting the LGBTQ community in recent years.

"I believe Barrington has sent a clear message to the local community, especially in light of recent homophobic incidents, that everyone is accepted here," said Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison of Mount Prospect, the first openly gay member of the county board. "I think about all the young LGBTQ people in Barrington, and I think about what this proclamation means to them.

"I think about them because I was one of them," he added. "Growing up in Elk Grove Village, I never thought I would get the opportunity to serve my community as an elected official simply because I was in the LGBTQ community."

Approval of municipal resolutions for Pride month follows the Des Plaines city council's 5-2 vote last week to amend local policy and allow the rainbow flag to be flown at city hall. The proposal was introduced by new Mayor Andrew Goczkowski, five years after political controversy was sparked when then-Mayor Matthew Bogusz allowed the flag to be flown outside the city-owned library.

And in Buffalo Grove, two years after the town's inaugural Pride Parade, organizers with the Pinta Pride Project are making preparations for another BG Pride Drive. The event, scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 6, is the second drive-by parade due to the pandemic. Attendees are invited to drive or walk past residential lawns adorned with pride decor and balloons.

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