BOS Calls for Love

BOS Calls for Love

Love Loudoun Resolution Replaces LGBT Proposal

A “Love Loudoun” resolution approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors aimed to soften the rhetoric stirring for the past few weeks regarding a controversial resolution that sought to retroactively recognize June as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.

In addition, supervisors agreed to only put forth resolutions that the board’s chair and vice chairman agree are appropriate.

Broad Run Supervisor Ron Meyer (R)’s Love Loudoun resolution, put forward as a substitute to Supervisor Kristen C. Umstattd’s (D-Leesburg) LGBT resolution, divided the board, but not along party lines. Two Republicans and two Democrats voted against it in a 5-4 vote.

Meyer said his goal was to craft a resolution that “unifies this board, unifies this county. We shouldn’t be trying to discriminate against anyone,” he explained, adding that the LBGT Pride Month resolution offended many residents. Meyer further explained that his resolution put the board in solidarity with those attacked in the June 12 attack in Orlando, FL, “an attack on American diversity and freedom” as Meyer later put it.

Umstattd voted against the measure, but said she could have supported it if it had not been a substitute to her motion. She stood by her conviction to recognize the LGBT community specifically.

“This is a community that has been hatefully discriminated against for centuries, and certainly for decades, and certainly for years,” she said. “We need to stand in unity with them.”

But a majority on the board supported Meyer, including Supervisors Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles), Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn), Tony Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) and Koran Saines (D-Sterling).

“I think the beauty of what’s in front of us is that it encompasses everything we’ve heard consistently for the last month or so since this has come up,” Letourneau said. “I think we need to come out of this with something positive.”

Supervisor Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian), however, voiced opposition to both resolutions.

“These are things that we should not be dealing with in the first place,” she said. “We cannot do a proclamation or we cannot legislate hate out of someone’s heart.”

Chair Phyllis Randall (D) voted against Meyer’s resolution as well. She said supervisors have other ways to express their views and promised to move supervisors’ opportunity to speak about items not on the board agenda to an earlier time during board meetings.

In addition, supervisors later agreed to restrict resolutions to those permitted on the agenda by the board’s chair and vice chairman, as well as only approve those with unanimous support. Umstattd was the lone vote against that rule change.