Upper Darby, PA – Today, Mayor Barbarann Keffer personally raised the Pride flag over the Upper Darby Township building as a show of commitment to the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights and solidarity with the community in its ongoing struggle for full and meaningful recognition and equality. This, first of its kind, public display was made possible in Pennsylvania’s 6th largest municipality by a gift from LGBTQ leaders and organizations in Philadelphia, including the William Way LGBT Community Center and local leadership from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s been a long time coming but I am proud that our Upper Darby Township government has just made a public affirmation of the fundamental dignity and equality of our LGBTQ+ community members,” said Mayor Barbarann Keffer. “This is another step toward delivering on my promise of a more inclusive Upper Darby where everyone is treated with respect and no one is left behind. More than 50 years after the Stonewall riots in New York, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender sisters, brothers, and friends as we celebrate pride month. The best of America is an evolving story, a belief that all people are created equal and that progress toward an ever more perfect union is possible and the raising of this flag is an unambiguous statement that that idea is alive and well in Upper Darby Township.”
“Upper Darby reached out to us through a mutual colleague in the LGBTQ community and we were thrilled to be a part of the first public pride display in their history,” said Philadelphia based business and political advocate, Jonathan Lovitz, who is also NGLCC’s Senior Vice President. “Public recognition and affirmation are the first steps toward economic inclusion and full equality. The future of our movement and our Commonwealth is diverse, intersectional, and will accept nothing but full inclusion of all communities. We want to thank Mayor Keffer for not letting her first Pride month in office pass without acknowledging our communities’ struggles, celebrating our equality and the intentional representation of our Black and BIPOC community members on the flag, and welcoming us to the public square in Upper Darby.”
NGLCC is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities for the LGBT business community and the exclusive certifying body of LGBT-owned businesses in the United States. They are represented in Pennsylvania by three local affiliate chambers: The Independence Business Alliance (Philadelphia); Keystone Business Alliance (Harrisburg); and Three Rivers Business Alliance (Pittsburgh).
“We want to thank leaders from the William Way Center in Philadelphia for helping us make this happen and we hope it is the beginning of a new and meaningful partnership,” continued Keffer. “At this moment, and especially in a community as diverse as ours, we felt it was more important than ever to fly the Philadelphia Pride flag, which has the additional brown and black stripes, highlighting the LGBTQ issues of people of color, to show that we understand that no one is free until everyone is free and no one is equal until everyone is equal. The process and progress toward freedom and equality are ongoing and we must continue to expand our efforts for inclusion across traditional lines of race, sex, gender-identity, and all lines if we hope to achieve meaningful civil rights for all. Our partnership here with the Center, and the Chamber shows that Upper Darby is open for business but even more importantly that we are open to the real conversations and hard work of building a better, more inclusive, and more equal shared future for all of us.”.Keffer also noted that Upper Darby was set to have its first Pride festival this year but those plans were halted by the pandemic. She hopes next year the festival will be even bigger and better than the group of local activists had planned and that the raising of the flag stands as a comfort and an inspiration going forward.
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