BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ With supporters saying that township youth and others in the community are in need of welcoming, the Bernards Township Committee unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month.
The township of Bernards values safety, equality, expression of independent thoughts and ideas, and inclusion for all our residents," the resolution states.
"All people regardless of age, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, or physical challenges have the right to be treated fairly and on the basis of their intrinsic value as human beings."
June is celebrated as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) Pride Month to note the "Stonewall Uprising" after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a club serving gay patrons in New York City in 1969. The event, and resulting resistance, is seen as the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and beyond.
Members of the local Bernards Township Democratic organization, including this year's candidates for Township Committee, Dr. Sophia Chadda and Jon Sandler, had also expressed the hope that the township would fly the Rainbow Pride Flag locally.
Some of the residents who spoke in favor of a proposal to set up a local Human Relations Advisory Committee, a discussion that was set carry over into a future meeting, also spoke of the need to support LGBTQ residents. "We are not where we need to be," said one resident, Sara Nichols. "Diversity only makes a community stronger and more welcoming."
The resolution passed by the Township Committee notes that members of the United States military "fought and died, and continue to fight and die for and protect, freedom, liberty and equality for all people," and noted that governments of other countries continue to persecute individuals "solely because of their sexual or gender identity or orientation."