June 23, 2017
The following is a statement from Dr. Tom McCartney, Chair, Stonewall Columbus Board of Trustees:
Stonewall Columbus has stood for equality, acceptance and basic human rights for the LGBTQ community since 1981. We treasure our rich legacy, unwavering commitment to equality and the reality that today Columbus is recognized as one of the most LGBTQ friendly cities in the nation.
All members of our Board were and are deeply concerned by the arrests and charges filed against protestors at this year’s Pride parade. We take very seriously allegations that anyone has suffered an injustice because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or race. As an inclusive organization enriched by the diversity of those we represent, we know that all of us are diminished when one of us is excluded.
We have requested a formal review by the Columbus Police and the Franklin County Sheriff about what occurred during the protests, subsequent arrests and detention. We are and will simultaneously initiate conversations with community partners, Columbus Police Department and Franklin County Sheriff.
We also are aware that our LGBTQ community needs to recognize and address injustices, such as racism, transphobia and classism. We heard this demand and Now is the time for constructive dialogue that results in real change. Last Saturday, those who marched in Pride were gay, straight, Trans, cisgender, people of color, refugees, immigrants, and people of all faiths, ages, professions, families and children.
Members of our Board are initiating honest, respectful conversations with people throughout the community. Expect to hear concrete ideas resulting from these conversations as we move forward.
Finally, we also want to honor and thank the entire staff of Stonewall Columbus for the great work they do everyday and most especially during Pride Weekend. They are truly devoted and selfless advocates for the people we serve.
Together, we will secure equality for everyone.