Lake Stevens mayor defends decision to not declare June as Pride Month

Jun 28, 2023, 9:00 AM | Updated: 10:16 am

lake stevens gailey pride...

Seattle Pride 2023 (Photo courtesy of Courtney Aalbu)

(Photo courtesy of Courtney Aalbu)

Lake Stevens Mayor Brett Gailey failed to sign a proclamation declaring June as Pride Month in the Snohomish County city for personal beliefs.

Gailey, who announced last month he is running for a second term as mayor, previously signed the declaration during the first two years of his term. Governor Jay Inslee, County Executive Dave Somers, and city officials in Snohomish, Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, and Mountlake Terrace have all signed Pride proclamations this year as a sign of support for the LGBT community.

“I’ve received several emails, both in support and against what I’ve done and one of the themes in the emails was, ‘What has changed?'” Gailey told The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH 770 AM. “I think that’s a really good introspective question that those folks should ask themselves.”

“Over the last several years, what I’ve seen that’s disturbing to myself and to others is just the movement of the Pride community into areas they really shouldn’t be getting into,” Gailey added. “And I’m specifically thinking about the parental rights arena. That I’m really concerned about. A couple years ago, we saw quite a few of the school districts bring on policies that would not inform parents of what their children are doing at schools. That’s concerning to me from a parental rights perspective.”

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In addition to citing parental rights as a primary reason, Gailey believes no one is standing up for women’s rights issues with “biological males taking over women’s sports.”

“Between parental rights and women’s rights, those are two big reasons why I just couldn’t jump on board at this year,” Gailey said. “And when you sign a proclamation like that, you’re either all in, or you’re not in. And, unfortunately, the great thing about the Pride community is there are great people within that community. They do great things in our community. They just want to live their life, do what they want to do. But there are aspects of that community that I just can’t support.”

‘I don’t understand how those beliefs can change.’

Gailey’s decision to not sign the ceremonial and symbolic declaration has angered both Lake Stevens’ residents and city representatives.

“If Brett actually believed what he signed in the proclamation before, then I don’t understand how those beliefs can change,” Casey Strom, a Lake Stevens Pride board member, said in an interview with the Everett Herald. “It makes me think either he was lying before or he’s lying now.”

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But Gailey claimed the Everett Herald piece had a lot of incorrect info while stating the news outlet quoted a person who’s not even a voting citizen in Lake Stevens and was “quoted by a council member who shouldn’t be quoting me.”

“Have you changed your views towards gay, lesbian, or transgender people as individuals?” Jason Rantz asked.

“We have great community members who are part of the Pride community in Lake Stevens,” Gailey responded. “No one’s out to harm them. No one wants to hurt their kids. I totally support the LGB portion of the community. I just have issues with some of the ones that are getting into parental rights and women’s rights issues.”

More on LGBT issues

Seattle held its 49th Pride Parade last weekend, where organizers estimated nearly 300,000 people showed up to celebrate — the largest annual parade in the city. This year’s event had 267 community groups march in the parade, the most in its history.

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) was once again not allowed to have officers partake in the parade in uniform for a second year in a row. But SPD officers did provide security along the parade route and even responded to reports that some participants were celebrating in the nude. There were no official complaints or arrests at the event though, as of this reporting.

More from SPD and Pride: SPD barred from participating in Pride Parade, debate ensues

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization — officially declared a state of emergency for LGBT people in the U.S. following a spike in anti-LGBT legislative bills throughout state houses. This was the first time in its 43-year history that HRC has called for a state of emergency. Rantz strongly condemned this decision as politically motivated and shameless partisanship.

Rantz has since criticized HRC’s state of emergency as politically motivated.

Most recently, Utah Governor Spencer Cox came under fire after his 2023 Pride Month declaration failed to mention the LGBT community.

“If you get into politics, and you think you’re going to keep everyone happy, you probably shouldn’t get into politics,” Gailey said. “I fully understand that. And I think it’s a good opportunity, especially coming on your show to let people know where I’m at on this, and they can make decisions for themselves at this point.”

Listen to The Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-7 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Lake Stevens mayor defends decision to not declare June as Pride Month