Rochester, New York – June 26, 2013. Democrats in the County Legislature today released a letter sent on June 3 to County Executive Maggie Brooks asking that the County fly the Rainbow Pride flag to honor Gay Pride Week and the 40th anniversary of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley’s Pride Picnic. Democrats hope that today’s ruling from the Supreme Court may spur the County Executive to finally recognize this important part of our community.
“It’s no secret that this administration has fought against marriage equality,” Democratic Leader Carrie Andrews (D-Rochester) said. “But with today’s ruling and public opinion clearly favoring equality, the time is right for the County Executive to change her position and be on the right side of history.”
In 2008, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that Monroe County had illegally denied a same-sex couple health benefits. Despite a widespread community outcry, the County Executive fought against providing equal benefits, expending thousands of taxpayer dollars on what ended up a futile effort. Fortunately, this decision, Martinez vs. Monroe County, resulted in a landmark ruling that helped pave the way for marriage equality in New York State. Democrats have requested that the Rainbow Pride Flag be flown during Pride Week in years past, but those requests have all been ignored by County Executive Brooks.