Opposition to the proclamation of “Pleasure Month” may lead to lawmakers limiting the ability of the mayor in Texas Metropolis – CBS Pittsburgh
ROWLETT, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) A move to recognize Pride Month in the town of Rowlett, Texas sparked controversy after several local pastors opposed the decision. The council members are now debating not only whether the occasion should be celebrated, but how similar decisions should be made in the future.
“I’m very excited and happy to make this proclamation tonight,” said Mayor Tammy Dana-Bashian, who officially declared June Pride Month in Rowlett for the first time during the city’s first meeting in June.
At least three pastors, having heard of the plans for the proclamation, attended the meeting to speak out against the decision.
“Our city does not need to promote morality that contradicts God and His Word,” said Pastor Cole Hedgecock of First Baptist Rowlett. “… with our taxpayers’ money, our public property, to celebrate someone’s sexual preference and a socially divisive lifestyle,” says Pastor Kason Huddleston of Freedom Place Church, describing the gesture.
Even the opening prayer of the congregation seemed to express resistance. “Male and female, you created them,” said Pastor Brian Hiatt of Cornerstone Church, calling for God’s influence on councilors.
Three council members have spoken out against the proclamation. Councilors Martha Brown, Brownie Sherrill and Pam Bell expressed disappointment in emails posted online. Brown also individually confirmed her opposition to KTVT-TV, saying that proclamations have not traditionally been used to acknowledge “controversial” events.
City records show that Brown, Sherrill and Bell moved an item to be placed on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting to discuss how decisions are made about proclamations and how decisions are made about whether the city’s water tower is in recognition of one Should be illuminated on public holidays.
According to Brown, they want future decisions to be made by the council, not the mayor alone.
“The council will consider creating a new directive that requires the prior consent of a majority of the council before proclamations can be issued,” Brown said in a statement. “This pre-approval is also being considered for the lighting of our water tower to support, promote or celebrate holidays, events, etc. I support this new directive as these recognitions should be decided in the same way that the Council makes our decisions by majority vote. “
According to the agenda, a vote on the matter would have to take place at a later meeting. “It lit a fire in me. It hurt me. It hurt me. It broke my heart, ”said Myranda Congi, who lives in the city and is a member of the LGBTQ community.
She urges residents to gather in response and wants the city to light their water tower with a rainbow, which the city manager admits he planned. “It’s more than just lights. It means the LGBT community is safe here, we are welcome here, ”said Congi.
Her social media post on a Facebook page for Rowlett residents received more than 500 comments. “Obviously a lot of back and forth with opposing views, but the first 100 comments were only supportive, and that really touched my heart … and I know … I know that the LGBT community is really wanted here,” said Congi.
More than 400 people have also signed a petition calling for the water tower to be lit for Pride month. City manager Brian Funderburk blames a mechanical fault that caused the tower to flash random colors on June 1st on the first night it was supposed to show a rainbow. When the problem was resolved days later, Funderburk said he had decided to suspend the tower’s lights until the opposition could be approached at Tuesday’s meeting.
“We didn’t try to speak out against anyone. We tried to speak for biblical values, ”said Pastor Hedgecock. He said his goal was only to ensure that those who disagreed with the proclamation are heard.
Should the council decide to celebrate PRIDE month, it said it would not be angry. “That’s on the city council. I did my part. I’m not going to be angry with the city council, ”said Hedgecock.
Congi says she knows exactly what it feels like to be recognized on a city landmark. “It will put a huge smile on my face. I know this and can’t wait to see it, ”she said.