Wasatch County Council Declares June to be 'Diversity and Inclusion Month'
The Wasatch County Council declared June Diversity and Inclusion Month in the county with seven votes in support and one abstention from Councilmember Marilyn Crittenden.
Wasatch County Councilor Danny Goode introduced the inclusion ordinance, citing the recent adoption of mental health months and first responder awareness months. He deliberately wanted to align with June and acknowledge that Republican Gov. Spencer Cox has declared June to be LGBTQ+ Pride Month in Utah.
“The reason that I didn't go specifically toward pride is because I knew that it would probably fail,” he said. “I knew that there were some people that, well, you can see what's happening here. So, instead of going into it very much in-depth I would just say that I think that it would be good for us, I think it would be good for everyone, for us to support this resolution, it, it would prove, without any doubt, too, to me and to others, if it's needed, that we are in support of everyone in our community."
Goode said it is critical to show everyone living in Wasatch County that they are supported.
"You know, let's go back to first responders, let's just lay it out,” he said. “I know personally, and some of you might know that many of those first responders are part of the LGBT community, and we celebrate them as first responders. We also ask for Mental Health Awareness Month. Now can you imagine living in this community, being gay or trans, or one of the people in the LGBT community, and you're a first responder. We passed mental health awareness month, but we don't want to recognize you for who you are. We want you to stay in the closet."
Councilmember Kendall Crittenden asked for a motion to amend the ordinance to designate July instead of June, coinciding with when the community celebrates Independence Day and Pioneer Day. He said he was concerned it was too focused on one group.
“We keep coming back to one group to argue why we should do it. When the resolution itself says that very thing that we recognize and respect and appreciate and everybody, regardless of whatever, but we want to keep coming back to, you know, anyway."
Goode said it would not be suitable for the county to lump the inclusion and diversity resolution into July's celebrations.
"It does nothing for the county. It does nothing for the council. It does nothing for our community."
"How does it, how does it not do the same thing for the community in July as it does in June?"
"Because you know very well, as I said, and last week when I brought it up, that I wanted it to be part of June because I think that inclusion as part of June is where we should be going. I think it's important for the reasons that we've that we all understand. And, you know, I understand that this is going to be difficult. In Wasatch County, but I don't think it should be that hard. I think that it should be something that we could do."
Crittenden's amendment did not receive a second, so was not considered in a vote.
The Wasatch County Council passed a second amendment sanctuary ordiance in May. The Diversity and Inclusion resolution
was the second special declaration passed by the County Council in the past two months.
Editors note: This story has been edited from its original version.