SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Two years after a divisive public referendum led to repealing discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, Salina’s mayor has signed a proclamation declaring June as LGBT Pride Month in the city.
Mayor Aaron Householter signed the proclamation Monday celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.
In 2012, a citizens group collected about 2,500 signatures seeking a public vote to repeal protections that had been approved for the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance. The repeal was approved 54.2 percent to 45.8 percent, The Salina Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1p4yH3n ).
Gary Martens, chairman of the North Central Kansas Equality Chapter, said the anti-LGBT effort in 2012 by a group called Awaken Salina made his chapter stronger.
“Without their successful efforts to overturn the anti-discrimination measure, we would not be here today,” he said. “Awaken Salina truly woke up the citizens in our community to support fairness and equal rights. … Because of them, we now have a large and very energized group with a membership that has never been so active.”
Martens said about 500 people from around the state attended the chapter’s first Gay Pride event in Salina last June. This year’s parade is scheduled for June 28.