The Santa Clarita City Council officially recognized June as Pride Month with a proclamation Tuesday for the first time since the city’s establishment.
“We are a community where regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, all residents feel valued, safe, empowered and supported,” said Mayor Marsha McLean during the council meeting. “We’re not known as a family-friendly community city, one of the best in the nation, for no reason.”
The matter drew support from the local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or LGBTQ, community, some of whom expressed their gratitude for the city’s recognition and also shared their personal experiences.
Among them was resident Susan McKenzie, who said hearing from LGBTQ individuals, including her son, a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer who didn’t feel welcome in his own community, concerned her.
“I think it’s important that every member of our community, majority or minority — whatever it may be — you have representation, and you have a voice, you feel safe and you feel welcomed,” she said.
Also in attendance Tuesday were husband and wife Jeffrey and Peggy Stabile, who founded PFLAG Santa Clarita, one of 400 chapters of the national organization that offers support to the LGBTQ community. PFLAG stands for Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays.
“As you heard tonight from some of the speakers you can tell how important this proclamation is,” said Jeffrey. “PFLAG has been here for 31 years and this is a great evening for the community of Santa Clarita and the (LGBTQ) community.”