Advocates in Holly Springs believe Pride Proclamation doesn't go far enough

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Thursday, June 8, 2023
Holly Springs Pride Proclamation doesn't go far enough, advocates say
The proclamation comes after the town refused to adopt a non-discrimination ordinance last year.

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Pride of Holly Springs was declared Tuesday night. But some advocates don't believe that pride proclamation goes far enough to celebrate people of different sexual orientations.

It comes after the town refused to adopt a non-discrimination ordinance last year.

"This proclamation intentionally eliminated sexual orientation--it absolutely eliminated or omitted the LGBTIA+ community," said Donna Friend, who has rallied over the past year for the town to sign on to the Wake County NDO.

We watched the Holly Springs Town Council meeting back with Donna and Jack Turnwald, who was in the audience during the meeting. They reached out to Eyewitness News Wednesday morning.

"The reality is, it's actually insidious because we have packed in a number of marginalized groups of people in order to make sure it's okay we have left out sexual orientation," Jack said.

Donna was in attendance for the Wake County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday for their proclamation for pride month, and the language that refers to the LGBTQ+ community.

Sean Mayefskie is the mayor of Holly Springs.

He said this is their first time passing a proclamation like this and they are open to tweaking it the next time around.

Eyewitness News also asked Mayefskie if sexual orientation was left out on purpose.

"I know it wasn't," he said. "If you're a part of Holly Springs, we're proud of you. That's where the pride came from and that's what it was geared toward."

The proclamation debate also comes the same week the Human Rights Campaign declared a national state of emergency for members of the LGBTQ+ community. It's the first in a four-decade history.

"Certainly I can appreciate the framing that this is a step in the right direction, but I think we have to recognize that this is a baby step in a saddle shoe in a year when the LGBT community has been kicked by a size 12 combat boot," Jack said.