Castle Rock has issued a human rights proclamation declaring the town a place open to people of all backgrounds. Town staff and councilmembers began drafting the proclamation at the request of the …
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Castle Rock has issued a human rights proclamation declaring the town a place open to people of all backgrounds. Town staff and councilmembers began drafting the proclamation at the request of the nonprofit Castle Rock Pride, which formed to advocate for LGBTQ issues in the area.
An emotional Mayor Pro Tem Jason Bower read the proclamation during town council’s Aug. 20 meeting. Castle Rock Pride was planning a festival for Aug. 24.
Bower worked with the group as Castle Rock drafted the proclamation, saying “a lot went into this. I have not made it through reading this without being emotional.” He acknowledged the group for urging the town to create a proclamation of that nature.
“I’m normally of the thought that government should stay out of the way of social issues, but I think that it’s certainly appropriate when government has gotten in the way in the past,” Bower said.
The proclamation reads, “Castle Rock is a place open to everyone to live, work and play regardless of age, ancestry, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, health, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.”
The proclamation urges the community to embrace one another’s differences and speak up against social injustices.
Members of the nonprofit have spoken at previous town council meetings to share experiences about growing up as an LGBTQ community member in Castle Rock, feeling as though they were alone or needed to hide their identity.
Castle Rock Pride member Heather Gonzales thanked the town for the proclamation and said the town’s support for the group has been phenomenal. Anya Zavadil, another group member, thanked the town for recognizing the town’s diversity.
“I grew up here. I graduated from the Douglas County High School and have watched this community grow and am so proud to be here right now. Always, but especially tonight after this proclamation,” she said.
Mayor Jason Gray commended town staff and councilmembers who worked with Castle Rock Pride to “make sure that it was appropriate for our community and something that we could all get behind.”
“We want to celebrate our differences, no matter what they are,” Gray said, “and then celebrate our community.”
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