Mayor Fischer declares June 10-17 Pride Week in Louisville
Mayor Fischer today joined Metro Council representatives, Karen Williams, President & CEO of Louisville Tourism, Civitas, the newly-formed Louisville chapter of the National LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, the Human Relations Commission and Chris Hartman, Director of the Fairness Campaign, to declare June 10 – 17, 2019 as Pride Week in Louisville.
“Louisville is a compassionate city where everyone is welcome,” said the Mayor. “Let’s join together to show support and unity for our LGBTQ family, because no matter where you’re from or who you love, Louisville welcomes you.”
In honor of Pride Week, Fischer and supporters raised two Pride flags in front of Metro Hall.
“Communities that embrace diversity are strong communities. That’s why we are proud to become the first Kentucky community to officially display an international symbol of inclusivity by raising the Pride flag,” said the Mayor.
The flags were designed and donated to the city by Louisville Tourism and feature a black fleur-di-lis in the middle of the flag.
“Louisville has always ‘prided’ itself on being a welcoming and inclusive destination, making it our mission to be one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the country,” said Karen Williams, President & CEO of Louisville Tourism. “These flags serve as a public display of support, reinforcing our outreach to the LGBTQ community, which has helped us capture major accolades including the current cover story in Passport Magazine and the recent designation by Instinct Magazine for Kentuckiana Pride as one of the 12 Fabulous Worldwide Events Taking Place During Pride Season.”
Additionally, Metro Council President David James announced that the City Hall Clock Tower will be lit in support of Louisville’s LGBTQ residents.
“I'm proud to celebrate Pride Week here in Louisville by lighting our historic City Hall Clock Tower with the colors of Pride—signifying Louisville's embrace of our diversity and inclusion of All of our residents,” said James.
As a show of support and to educate the public on the modern fight for LGBTQ rights, an installation of 70 flags has been placed in the ground in front of Metro Hall. The flags celebrate the twenty-year anniversary of the Fairness Ordinance and honor the fifty-year anniversary of Stonewall.
The Fairness Ordinance was passed in 1999 and protects LGBTQ citizens from employment discrimination. It was one of the first passed in the South and one of the few in the country to include the transgender community.
The Stonewall riots marked the beginning of the modern gay rights movement that paved the way for anti-discrimination ordinances, hate crime legislation and marriage equality.
“We're excited Louisville continues to take a lead in embracing inclusion, diversity, and our LGBTQ community,” said Chris Hartman, Director of the Fairness Campaign. “Twenty years after Louisville banned LGBTQ discrimination with its historic Fairness Ordinance, the raising of Pride flags at Metro Hall signals to everyone who visits our city that it is open to all.”
Fischer is encouraging all businesses and residents to show their colors and participate in this year’s Pride Parade, which is anticipated to be the biggest Pride Parade yet with more than 100 entries and 5,000 walkers.
Fischer and Metro Government employees will march in solidarity with the LGBTQ community and Civitas.
The annual parade starts 7 p.m. Friday, June 14 at Market and Campbell streets and proceeds to the Big Four Lawn, where the Big Four Bridge will be lit in rainbow colors at dusk and the annual pride festival is being held.
For more details about the pride festival, visit http://www.kypride.com/
Louisville’s Points of Pride include:
- A perfect score of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Municipal Equality Index four years in a row (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018)
- Home to the 11th largest LGBTQ population in the United States.
- University of Louisville is one of only 17 schools in the nation to earn five stars in the Campus Pride Index, the only public university in the South ranked among the “Best of the Best.”
- University of Louisville Medical School has piloted the first medical student training for targeted LGBTQ healthcare needs and is the first university in the country to offer a LGBTQ Studies minor.
- Louisville Metro Government extends benefits options to domestic partners of employees and was one of the first cities in the South to do so.
Louisville recent LGBTQ accolades:
- Named one of six Surprising Cities Great for LGBTQ Families, Family Traveller
- Named one of six Underrated Cities for LGBT Travelers, Conde Nast Traveler
- Named one of nine Perfect Places for Your LGBT Destination Wedding, Travel + Leisure
- Named one of the 10 Hottest Gay Destinations, Orbitz
- Named one of America’s 10 Gayest Cities, Gallup Poll
- Named one of seven U.S. Pride Festivals off the Beaten Track that will Blow you Away, GayStarNews
- Louisville included in twelve fabulous worldwide events taking place during Pride Season, Instinct