The Lafayette City-Parish Council fell one vote short Tuesday of proclaiming June gay Pride Month.
Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux sponsored a resolution, a non-binding action, symbolically proclaiming June Pride Month.
Aimee Robinson of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) said Boudreaux took up the fight for the Pride Month resolution after Mayor-President Joel Robideaux ducked a request to place the resolution on the agenda. Robideaux was present at the beginning of Tuesday's meeting but was absent during discussion on the Pride Month issue.
“I love all people as they are in their own way," Boudreaux said. "I’m not going to apologize for that and that will never change.”
Many people exaggerated what the proclamation is to put fear in people, he said, such as claiming the resolution makes Lafayette a gay city or requires flying the gay pride flag.
Boudreaux said firefighters, police officers, retired school principals and a physician, all who are among the LGBTQ community, contacted him supporting the resolution.
"They are our families. They are our friends," he said. "They are our co-workers. They attend church with us. They are human beings created by God."
Local businesses including CGI, BBR Creative and Cox Communications made Facebook posts celebrating Pride Month, William Thiele said. Baton Rouge and New Orleans declared June Pride Month, he said.
"There's nothing controversial here," Thiele said, asking the council to "stand up to bigotry."
Mike Breaux spoke against the resolution, saying it was discouraging that some citizens said things negative about the city and country.
"That's not who we are," he said. "That's not Christianity. That's not God's love."
Breaux said the resolution would further divide the community.
"Vote on the side of light. Vote on the side of love," Thiele asked the council. "It doesn’t cost you anything but a little it of courage."
But with council members Nanette Cook and Pat Lewis absent from the meeting Tuesday, the resolution fell one vote short of passage.
Voting in favor of Pride Month were council members Jay Castille, Bruce Conque, Liz Hebert and Boudreaux. Voting against were Jared Bellard, Kevin Naquin and William Theriot. The Home Rule Charter requires at least five votes for passage.