Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe for the second time in a week announced he is calling on the raising of the rainbow Pride flag at City Hall for the remainder of the year.
He first stated he was calling for this at the March 22 city council meeting after comments made by Robyn Kuslits, chair of the Rainbow Community Center.
During the meeting, Kuslits stated she was representing the LAMBDA Democratic Club and was responding to comments made by a former Antioch City Councilmember while also calling on the City of Antioch to submit to the human rights campaign for the Municipal Equality Index (MEI):
“I grew up in Antioch and I was so proud when the city council voted a few years ago to raise the PRIDE flag. Recently, a former city councilmember shared disparaging remarks towards a transgender public official on social media and it reminded me there is more work to be done to create a welcoming environment to the LGBTQ+ community. I am excited to bring your awareness to a free tool from the human rights campaign called the Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The MEI examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are of LGBTQ+ people live and work there. Cities are ranted based on non-discrimination laws, municipal as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality. Despite the index being in existence for 10-years now, Antioch has yet to submit their score. Transgender people are under attack all across the nation and Antioch is not immune as shown by the recent social media comments. Antioch has an opportunity to put action behind their words with laws and policies proven to be inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community. The first step and my ask of council tonight is commit to submitting Antioch’s score to the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index for this year. Once this score is submitted, I am committed to working with the city of Antioch to raise the score to the highest level of 100 points. Together, I believe we can show the world that the city of Antioch lives its values and continues to be a community that provides an opportunity to live, learn, work, work and play in a safe, stimulating and diverse community”
During the council meeting, Thorpe closed the meeting with the following comments:
“Robyn I am sorry, you are not delusional, you served your country, you are one of my shipmates, I am proud of you and I am proud of who you are. No one deserves to be treated the way our friends in the transgender community have” said Thorpe. “Please know that this city stands with you and everybody in the LGBTQ+ community. I want you to know that the next agenda item that will be coming to the council is we are going to raise that PRIDE Flag for the rest of the year. We will not tolerate that. This is an open city. Everybody is welcome here.”
Thorpe continued stating there is no room for homophobic and/or transphobic rhetoric or behavior in the new Antioch; especially by those who purport to be leaders in our community.
The Antioch City Council meeting agenda has yet to be released and its anticipated to be an agenda item for next weeks meeting.
In California, 52 cities have submitted their Municipal Equality Index. Here is a look at some of the local scores:
- Berkeley – 100
- Concord – 81
- Dublin – 95
- Hayward – 79
- Oakland – 100
- Richmond – 84
- San Francisco – 100
- San Jose – 97
- Stockton – 77
- Modesto – 60
- Sacramento – 100
- For more scores, click here
For more on the Human Rights Campaign, click here.