Aztec commissioner opposes Pride Month proclamation after an LGBTQ commissioner read it into the record
AZTEC — An Aztec city commissioner expressed opposition to the LGBTQ Pride Month proclamation after another city commissioner who is a member of the LGBTQ community read it into the record on June 10.
Commissioner Mike Padilla Sr. said his religion, military background and conversations with his pastor and other community members led to him voicing his opposition during the meeting.
“I believe in all life matters, but I can’t support the proclamation as it is,” Padilla said.
The meeting can be viewed on YouTube.
This is the third year that Aztec has issued a proclamation in recognition of Pride Month.
Pride Month is celebrated each year in June in remembrance of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. This uprising occurred on June 28, 1969, when police in New York City's West Village raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar. While the raids were not uncommon at that time, the patrons of the bar stood up against the police, leading to riots that lasted for four days.
In addition to remembering the Stonewall Uprising, Pride Month celebrates the contributions that LGBTQ people have made to society.
This year's Pride Month will look different than in the past because coronavirus has limited gatherings. That means there will not be a Pride Parade; however, there are virtual celebrations planned around the world.
'I’m going to stand up for my own beliefs'
Padilla said he was aware that some fellow commissioners are also members of the LGBTQ community.
“I am my own person and I’m going to stand up for my own beliefs,” he said, adding that he had spoken to several other people prior to making that statement.
Padilla said his religion's beliefs and his military background made it so he was unable to support the proclamation. He said the LGBTQ lifestyle is “not what the Bible teaches.”
“I’m not hiding from my feelings or hiding from my convictions,” he said.
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Commissioner Mark Lewis, who read the proclamation, said he was not hurt by Padilla’s statement.
“It would be hurtful if I hadn’t heard it a million times,” he said, adding that is another reason the proclamation is important.
Pride Month proclamation especially important this year
Lewis said the LGBTQ community faces unique challenges because they are often invisible members of society and often hide who they are out of fear. In addition, he said people of color in the LGBTQ community are even more marginalized than their white counterparts.
At the end of the meeting, Mayor Victor Snover, who also comes from a military background, said the Pride Month proclamation is especially important this year amidst the protests regarding systemic racism.
He said Pride Month may take on an “even more special meaning this year than in years past because it’s symbolic of not only LGBTQ folks but marginalized societies ... and people of color who have been pushed to the sidelines for generations and I hope and pray that we’re turning a corner as a country.”
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.