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Minnesota mayor refuses Pride proclamation, gets confronted by activists

Minnesota mayor refuses Pride proclamation, gets confronted by activists

Mayor Donna Schmitt

A mayor in Minnesota is facing criticism after she did not sign a proclamation honoring LGBTI Awareness Day. The refusal comes ahead of the city’s first ever Pride event.

Donna Schmitt is the mayor of Columbia Heights, Minnesota. According to local news station ABC 5 Eyewitness News, Schmitt did not sign the proclamation due to it not meeting certain guidelines.

LGBTI activists attended the city council meeting on Monday (8 July), protesting Schmitt’s decision. They had been hoping, instead, Schmitt would sign the proclamation honoring the first Pride festival set for Saturday (13 July).

‘It is not about a group, it’s about, let’s follow the guidelines,’ she said in an interview with ABC 5. ‘They can go out and celebrate, they are more than welcome to rent our parks and have a family friendly event as they have requested.’

She also dismissed any ideas that discrimination played a part in her decision.

Schmitt added: ‘I just hope they realize, they don’t represent everyone in the city either.’

Activists disagree with the mayor

Amada Marquez Simula, one of the planners of the Pride festival, said she believed the proclamation fit the guidelines — which were only developed the same week organizers began asking about a proclamation.

‘She didn’t think that it was important enough for a proclamation,’ Simula said as a counter-point to Schmitt’s statement.

‘Right now, the eye is on Columbia Heights that our city government is biased against the LGBTQ community.’

The Pride festival is still scheduled to go ahead as planned this weekend.

Schmitt did not respond to GSN’s request for comment.

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