Officials today raised a LGBTQ+ Pride flag atop City Hall to kick off a month-long celebration of the Citywide commitment to the LGBTQ+ community in Kansas City.
June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month nationwide. In addition to the flag posting, the City Council plans to consider a resolution at its regular meeting on June 9. The City also is supporting the Kansas City Pridefest festival from June 10-12 and will be represented in the parade on June 11.
“For decades, Kansas City has been at the forefront of our region in making sure we have equality for all, our employees, our residents, our friends, our neighbors and our tourists,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas. “I’m proud to stand alongside the progress Pride flag, proud our community is creating safe, inclusive spaces, and proud Kansas City continues working to enact equitable policies to combat discrimination. Everyone in Kansas City belongs and everyone in Kansas City is welcome.”
“We’re doing all that we can to embrace the diversity of our City by creating safe spaces for all of our residents and adopting policies that are inclusive,” City Manager Brian Platt said. “Our commitment to equity is unwavering and we look forward to making Kansas City an even more desirable place for everyone to live their best lives.”
Kansas City is among the leading cities in the nation to take steps to ensure diversity and inclusion in City government and with other municipal initiatives designed to support LGBTQ+ community and businesses.
The Human Rights Campaign, a Washington, D.C.-based national organization, last year awarded Kansas City its highest possible ranking in a nationwide assessment of equality regarding municipal policies, ordinances and services.
While Kansas City has consistently scored in the top tier of the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Municipal Equality Index, the perfect score in 2021 reflected City initiatives such as:
- an ordinance protecting youth from conversion therapy
- creation of a Chief Equity Officer position in City government
- new policies and supportive resources for LGBTQ+ businesses
- inclusion of gender-affirming treatments and procedures in employee healthcare plans
Kansas City also created a resource group for City employees called KC Proud; enacted an all-gender restroom facilities policy for City buildings and created an LGBTQ+ Commission.
KC Proud members, City officials and LGBTQ Commission members will participate in the Saturday morning parade from Westport to Pridefest, which is being held at Theis Park, Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard and Oak Street. Kansas City will be present at the festival with information about City employment, City diversity and inclusion programs. The Water Bar, KC Water’s portable drinking fountain, will be available for free water-bottle refills.
Pride Month is celebrated nationwide each June to demonstrate how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans have strengthened the country with talent, creativity, culture, and enterprise. The first Pride march was held June 28, 1970, in New York City to mark the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a six-day series of events between police and LGBTQ+ protesters in that city, according to the Library of Congress.
Kansas City has also taken other measures to ensure equity across all communities, including:
- Dedication of a boulevard to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Formally acknowledging Juneteenth as an official city holiday
- Negotiated a new labor agreement with KC Fire Department that emphasizes equity while eliminating discriminatory practices of the past
- Creating a Quality of Life Investment District (QLID) to improve equity across all facilities in the Kansas City Parks system
- Launched Employee Resource Group for Black employees called ASSET
Media questions and requests for more information may be directed to Chris Hernandez, City Communications Director, 816-513-3474.