Community leaders celebrate love and pride — while also sending a message

Pride (Jaden Jefferson)

TOLEDO, Ohio — “We should be tolerant in the things that we believe, the things that we do. Someone should not be judged by who they love. It is something that is an important lesson in kindness, an important lesson for our entire community,” said Lucas County Commissioner Gary Byers (D).

That’s why on Thursday, in celebration of Pride Month, the Pride flag was raised on the plaza of One Government Center. Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, the Lucas County commissioners, TPS school board member Sheena Barnes, and others were in attendance for the ceremony.

You can watch the story, here.

Communities like Toledo have long championed and led the charge for equality, dating back to even before the Stonewall Riots of 1969. But to this day, the struggle continues for members of the LGBTQ+ community. So Barnes offered insight into how, and pleaded for end to, what she calls, bigotry.

“Although raising this flag today is a celebration, I want you to see today as a battle cry,” she said. “This type of bigotry will make our children suffer, it will increase depression, anxiety, and will increase their risk of suicide attempts across Ohio, and unfortunately here in Lucas County.”

Barnes is referring to a pair of bills that were introduced in Columbus, one of which limits teachings of gender and sexuality to K-12 students in the state. House Bill 616 was referred to a committee, where it awaits further consideration.

As for now, the message from many local leaders remains one of pride, as well as acceptance.

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Jaden Jefferson

Jaden Jefferson

🎥 MMJ / Reporter, Anchor🎤 🗞 | Dog lover! 🐾 | Taco. Fanatic. 🌮 | #Vaccinated | IG: @jaden_reports | Story idea? jadenjeffersonreports@gmail.com / DMs