Marathon Co. Board approves June as Pride Month

Published: Jun. 25, 2019 at 10:25 PM CDT
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On Tuesday, the Marathon Co. Board voted 20-15 in favor of recognizing the month of June as Pride Month, but it wasn’t a decision that came without a debate.

Hours before the meeting a substitute resolution was proposed by the County Board Chair, Kurt Gibbs, to declare the month of June as “Diversity and Inclusivity Month,” instead of “Pride Month.” After several rounds of debates and motions, Gibbs substitute resolution was eventually rejected.

The board went on to debate several other topics regarding the resolution including if the original resolution should be sent back to the Diversity Affairs Commission Committee for further review. However, several board members felt pushing back the decision to July would ultimately defeat the purpose of acknowledging June as Pride month.

“This resolution is basically saying no matter who you are whether your skin color or even sexual orientation, you will be welcomed in Marathon County,” said County Board Supervisor, Yee Leng Xiong,” who represents District 19.

At one point during the meeting, the board debated adding an amendment to the original resolution that would require the County Board to revote on declaring the month of June as Pride Month every year. This was debated for several rounds and eventually rejected.

Both supporters and non-supporters of the Pride Month resolution filled the meeting to listen to the debate. The county board voted to not allow public comments at the beginning of the meeting.

“Pride means different things to everyone,” said Matthew Waltzman who is the Artistic Director at Proud Theater Wausau. “This isn’t just about going to parades, it’s about learning and acknowledging our history and passing it down.”