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A Minnesota mayor, who has this year approved ceremonial proclamations for a retiring city manager, National Library Week and “Tibet Day,” refused to sign a proclamation honoring the city’s first-ever Pride festival.
Members of the LGBTQ community reportedly confronted Mayor Donna Schmitt of Columbia Heights during a city council meeting on Monday night over her refusal to sign a proclamation honoring LGBTQ Awareness Day.
Schmitt said she would not recognize the proclamation because organizers did not follow guidelines necessary for ceremonial documents, KSTP reported.
“It is not about a group, it’s about â€˜let’s follow the guidelines,â€™â€� Schmitt told the TV station. â€œThey can go out and celebrate, they are more than welcome to rent our parks and have a family-friendly event as they have requested.”
Schmitt did acknowledge that the guidelines were developed the same week organizers started asking about how to request a proclamation.
“Right now, the eye is on Columbia Heights that our city government is biased against the LGBTQ community,” Amada Marquez Simula, the festivalâ€™s organizer, told KSTP.
Schmitt threatened to kick some protesters out of Mondayâ€™s tense council meeting, according to a Fox 9 report.
â€œI am standing here as a bisexual resident of our city and am confused as to why my existence is being deemed a political issue,â€� resident Lindsay Schell-Edwards said during the council meeting.
Schmitt denied that she was biased against members of the LGBTQ community and noted that her office had denied several other proclamations in recent months.
“I just hope they realize, they don’t represent everyone in the city either,” she said in an interview with KSTP.
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