A county commissioner in Texas refused to sign a Pride Week proclamation that among other things, honored the lives lost in the Pulse nightclub shooting, commemorated the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, and honored the LGBTQUIA+ community, according to ABC affiliate KIII.
Nueces County Commissioner Carolyn Vaughn read a statement at Wednesday’s meeting, in Corpus Christi, declaring, “I want it in the record that I do not support this proclamation or agree with the statements in it.”
Vaughn told NBC affiliate KRIS-TV she felt she hadn’t done anything wrong by refusing to sign the proclamation, adding that she would do it again.
She said she felt she had “shared her beliefs in a kind way.”
“Look, guys, you have a right to your beliefs, but I do too,” Vaughn said. “And just because you’re the LGBT—whatever it’s called, community, does not mean that I have to suck it up and support it.”
“It’s unfortunate that Nueces County Commissioner Carolyn Vaughn felt the desperate need to impose her anti-LGBTQ beliefs preceding the presentation of the Nueces County proclamation in celebration of Pride Week,” said civil rights group LULAC Para Todos in a statement.
“Being a County-elected official, her job is to represent the community as a whole and understand that it would be beneficial for all of her constituents if she kept her personal biases to herself. Her actions at today’s meeting were highly unnecessary and we call on her to apologize to the LGBTQ community for refusing to represent everybody in her district—regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
“People always have their own views,” said Bill Hoelscher, president of The Mosaic Project of South Texas. “Bigotry is something that, it’s hard to fight. I would suggest that people [who] are uncomfortable with our community or feel we don’t belong get educated. Talk to us.”