Hundreds line the streets during Snohomish’s inaugural Pride celebration on Saturday, June 3, 2023, in downtown Snohomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Hundreds line the streets during Snohomish’s inaugural Pride celebration on Saturday, June 3, 2023, in downtown Snohomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Again, County Council approves Pride proclamation with no GOP support

For a fourth time, council members Nate Nehring and Sam Low both didn’t support a resolution that affirms “LGBTQIA+ rights are human rights.”

EVERETT — Once again, the Snohomish County Council voted to recognize June as Pride Month, with dissent from its Republican members.

On Wednesday, the council affirmed “LGBTQIA+ rights are human rights.” The council’s three Democrats — Strom Peterson, Jared Mead and Megan Dunn — all supported the proclamation. Council members Nate Nehring and Sam Low opposed.

Nehring and Low did not respond to a request for comment. Neither member commented on the proclamation during the meeting.

After a similar vote in 2022, Nehring told the Herald he “would be violating [his] own personal conscience by supporting a resolution promoting or celebrating particular lifestyles.”

The proclamation was sponsored by Dunn and Peterson. Dunn said the council has used a similar ordinance all four years, authored with members of the county’s LGBTQ+ community.

She said on Thursday she was happy the proclamation passed to show the county will “honor, recognize and celebrate” the community. She declined to comment on Nehring’s and Low’s “no” votes, but said she wished it could have passed unanimously.

“This is about honoring and celebration and understanding the history of the movement and understanding the contributions of so many people to our community,” Peterson said in the meeting.

This is the fourth year in a row that Republican council members chose to not support the resolution. In 2021 and 2022, Nehring voted no on the proclamation and Low was not present for either meeting. In 2023, Nehring and Low both voted no.

Proclamations typically don’t revise any statute or require anything of the county. Their purpose is to “commemorate an importance date or honor specific communities,” according to the county’s website.

Contested or failed proclamations are few and far between in the County Council. Of the nearly 200 proclamations passed since 2021, just three have failed in the Democratic majority council.

In 2022, for example, a proclamation failed that would “declare that the imposition of a local income tax on the businesses and residents of Snohomish County is prohibited.”

Last year, Lake Stevens Mayor Brett Gailey and a majority of the City Council declined to approve a proclamation declaring June as Pride month, despite Gailey signing a similar proclamation twice in years prior.

Lynnwood approved a proclamation for Pride month last week without opposition.

Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Mukilteo are set to vote on a similar proclamation in the first week of June.

In May, Yakima and Sunnyside, both in Yakima County, rejected Pride proclamations.

Mario Lotmore, the publisher of the Lynnwood Times, spoke in public comment Wednesday urging the County Council to table the resolution until it acknowledges people who were affected by AIDS and HIV.

On Thursday, Dunn said members of the LGBTQ+ community have told her they don’t want to include mentions of HIV or AIDS in a Pride month proclamation, because the health conditions affect more than just the LGBTQ+ community.

The county recognizes HIV and AIDS awareness at other times throughout the year, too, Dunn said.

“It’s more about celebrating and honoring efforts to create pride,” she said.

Jenelle Baumbach: 360-352-8623;; Twitter: @jenelleclar.

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