By Cary Shuman
City Councillor Matt Frank, Jimmy Dwyer, and John Valinch organized a ceremony celebrating June as National Gay Pride Month for the first time in the city’s history.
Dwyer presided over the ceremony that was held June 18 at City Hall. The day included a memorial to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting, speakers, and culminated with the Gay Pride flag raising.
The Rev. Ellen Rohan Ball and the Rev. Edgar Gutierrez-Duarte honored the victims of the tragedy with the reading of the names and the beginning of the healing process.
Speakers for the flag-raising included John Valinch, who delivered a speech about the history of the Gay Pride Movement. Other speakers included State Rep. Dan Ryan and City Councillor Matt Frank.
“It was amazing to see so many people join us for this display of unity, celebration, and love,” said Frank. “This is the first time the city has ever raised the Gay Pride flag – it shows how far the city and the nation have come in regards to gay rights’ and equality.”