TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — A Pride flag now hangs from a Travis County administrative building for the first time. The Travis County Commissioners Court voted to pass an LGBTQIA+ civil rights proclamation at their meeting on June 29.
"I view this as another step along the way to our welcoming and diverse culture at Travis County," said Commissioner Brigid Shea.
Travis County Judge Andy Brown and Commissioner Shea, along with LBTQIA+ leaders from the county, hosted a flag-raising ceremony at 12 p.m. Tuesday in response to the vote. The ceremony took place at the Travis County Government Administration Building at 700 Lavaca St., where the flag will hang annually.
"As we raise a Pride flag in Travis County, it's important to remember what we are proud of," said former Texas Rep. Glenn Maxi. "[Travis County] wouldn't be weird, it wouldn't be art if wasn't for us. It wouldn't be a business community, and all that is included in the fabric of Travis County."
The resolution, or Item 2, passed unanimously. Item 2, in the court’s meeting agenda, reads:
"Consider and take appropriate action on proclamation regarding LGBTQIA+ Civil Rights, including direction to explore options and draft regulatory proposals for Commissioners court adoption that reflect the County’s intent to strengthen the protections and enforcement of civil rights within our community."
The resolution allows Travis County staff to fly the LGBTQIA+ Pride Flag at the county’s administration building every year during Pride Month in June and during the Austin-Travis County Pride Parade in August. All other Travis County buildings can do the same.
"As we look at this flag that goes up over the county today, I hope that we don't just think of everybody that it touches today, but those who would have loved to see this flag rise in the past and the sheer amount of fighting we have to do to carry on their legacy," said LGBTQ activist Ash Hall.
The commissioner's court will also have to draft two reports by Sept. 15. One is a policy prohibiting companies doing business with Travis County from discriminating against employees “on the basis of race, color, national original, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or veteran status.”
The other asks the Travis County Attorney’s Office to draft proposals for the court to pass “that reflect the County’s intent to strengthen the protections and enforcement of civil rights within our community.”
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