Released: June 6, 2023
Delaware County Council was proud to join dozens of County employees and members of the LGBTQQIA+ community including Vice President of U.D.T.J. and the Logistics Coordinator of the Upper Darby Pride Festival Kyle T. McIntyre to raise the Progress Pride Flag outside of the Courthouse on June 6.
The flag was raised in honor of Pride Month, a month dedicated to recognizing the need to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for LGBTQQIA+ Americans. Pride Month was established in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan which was considered the tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.
Last June, for the first time in the County’s history, the Pride flag was raised at the Courthouse.
“We are very proud to once again be raising the Progress Pride flag in recognition of Pride Month,” said Delaware County Council Vice Chair Elaine Paul Schaefer. “The flag raising is extremely symbolic and a testament that our County respects, recognizes, and celebrates the lives of our residents and employees in the LGBTQQIA+ community. It’s also a reflection and reminder of the need to create and cultivate a more accepting and loving society.”
Vice Chair Schaefer noted that our world is a different place than it was just 15 years ago.
In 2015- The Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.
In 2010- The U.S. Senate voted to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, allowing gay people to serve openly in the U.S. Military.
In these past 15 years, companies have changed their policies for health benefits to be inclusive for employees in the LGBTQQIA+ community.
Restroom signage has changed to include gender-neutral people.
TV shows, movies, and advertisements include members of the LGBTQQIA+ community.
People in the LGBTQQIA+ community and allies have begun to display pronouns to help one another know how to refer to a person with respect.
The world is drastically different than it was almost 100 years ago when the first milestone in the American Gay Rights Movement was documented. In 1924, The Society for Human Rights was founded by Henry Gerber in Chicago. The Society is the first Gay Rights Organization as well as the oldest documented in America. After receiving a charter from the state of Illinois, the society published the first American publication for homosexuals called “Friendship and Freedom.” Soon after its founding, the society sadly disbanded due to political pressure.
The ceremony included remarks from the County’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Lauren Footman, County Team Member Tony Oriente who delivered an impactful and personal story about living as a member of the LGBTQQIA+ community, and Vice President of U.D.T.J. Kyle T. McIntyre, who highlighted various LGBTQQIA+ events in the county including the June 10 Pride Festival being held in Upper Darby.
In addition to the dozens of County leaders and employees who participated, various organizations including “Free Mom Hugs” and residents of the community gathered to celebrate the raising of the Pride flag.
The Progress Pride Flag will fly outside of the Delaware County Courthouse and the Government Center through the month of June.