June is set to be officially proclaimed as LGBT Pride Month in Carmel for the first time at the June 7 city council meeting.
Carmel City Councilor Miles Nelson will read the proclamation from Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard during the meeting. June was first proclaimed LGBT Pride Month nationally by President Bill Clinton in 1999.
Nelson, the first Democrat elected to Carmel’s council, said he approached Brainard, a Republican, about recognizing LGBT Pride Month and that they worked together and gained input from others to craft the proclamation. Proclamations, unlike resolutions and ordinances, do not go before the council for a vote.
“I’m hearing a lot more from my constituents and members of the community that this was something that was very important to them, and very important to me,” said Nelson, who represents the West District.
The proclamation states that Carmel “is a community that aspires to be a place that allows everyone to thrive, prosper and enjoy a high quality of life” and “a place of tolerance, understanding and mutual respect” and that “all people should be able to live without fear of prejudice, discrimination, violence and hatred based on race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.”
“It’s a clear message to the LGBTQ commmunity that Carmel is open and understanding,” he said. “We want them to thrive here.”
Nelson said he hopes members of the local LGBTQ community will attend the council meeting, which is set for 6 p.m. at City Hall, to hear the proclamation read.
“This is probably something they’ve been waiting for,” he said. “I want to share the feeling with them that Carmel is a great place to live, and this is only going to make it better.”
Nelson said he would like to see additional steps taken to support Carmel’s LGBTQ community in the future.
“(The proclamation) is a start,” Nelson said. “I’m hoping that we actually have a parade or something next year to support the LGBTQ community.”