Rochester, New York – July 17, 2013. Democrats in the County Legislature today expressed disappointment with County Executive Maggie Brooks’ refusal to fly the Rainbow Pride Flag to acknowledge the significant contributions to our county by members of the LGBT community, to celebrate Pride Week, and to recognize the 40th anniversary of the Gay Alliance’s Pride Picnic.
“It’s no secret that this administration has fought against equality for the LGBT community,” Democratic Leader Carrie Andrews (D-Rochester) said. “But with this latest decision the county has sunk to a new low. We must ensure all residents are treated with respect and dignity. Flying the Rainbow Pride Flag in front of the County Office Building would have sent a powerful message of inclusion. Instead, we are again left with a sense of disappointment because antiquated mindsets have ruled the day.”
The Administration of Maggie Brooks has a long history of dismissing the need for equality in the LGBT community. 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.