Asheville City Council faces showdown over Blue Ridge Pride proclamation

City proclamations aren’t typically a point of controversy, but the Asheville City Council meeting tomorrow, Sept. 27, will see an exception. A proclamation recognizing the Blue Ridge Pride festival is on the New Business portion of the agenda, as Mayor Terry Bellamy refused to endorse it.

The reading of proclamations recognizing individuals or events are a common sight in City Hall’s Council chambers — the vast majority of meetings see Council, usually represented by Bellamy, read off several before proceeding on to the city’s other business. The agenda for the Sept. 27 meeting, for example, includes proclamations for Food Day, Fire Prevention Month and a Salute to Families celebration.

However, this proclamation is instead farther down in the agenda, because Bellamy refused to grant a request for the typical mayoral proclamation. Instead, Council member Bill Russell put the issue on the agenda, according to the city clerk’s office.

Bellamy has routinely voted against measures advocated by the LGBT community. She voted against domestic partner benefits in 2010 and the city’s equality resolution in February. Both times, Bellamy angrily denounced the respective measures, claiming she was being singled out for her personal beliefs.

As for other Council members, Russell was absent from both votes, while Council member Jan Davis initially voted against domestic partner benefits, but later shifted to support the policy, also voting in favor of the equality resolution.. All other current Council members supported both measures.

While Bellamy did accept a proclamation recognizing LGBT history month on June 14, she did so in the midst of the month, not before, a move that caused some controversy given her voting history.

Given that history, expect some fireworks.

At the meeting, Council will also consider measures expanding the role and powers of the Public Art Board, including a name change to the Public Art and Cultural Commission; starting a process to recommend possible changes to the city’s noise ordinance and a request from the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council, still in the midst of tax troubles, for funding.

The meeting begins at 5 p.m., Sept. 27 in Council’s chambers on the second floor of City Hall.

— David Forbes, senior news reporter


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6 thoughts on “Asheville City Council faces showdown over Blue Ridge Pride proclamation

  1. Dionysis

    “She voted against domestic partner benefits in 2010 and the city’s equality resolution in February. Both times, Bellamy angrily denounced the respective measures, claiming she was being singled out for her personal beliefs.”

    But hasn’t it been pretty well established that the mayor’s ‘personal beliefs’ have been an admitted influence (probably the main influence at that) on her voting record and support or opposition to anything dealing with the LGBT community?

    How does that go? “I am opposed to same-sex benefits or formal recognition of the gay community based upon my religious views.”

    “How dare you politicize my personal views.”

  2. CK4AVL

    Will we be expecting you, Dear Mayor, at Blue Ridge Pride this weekend? God forbid! Someone might jump out and be all GAY right in front of you!

    Oh, don’t tell me. You actually like Gay people, and you even have a friend who IS Gay!

    It’s okay for us to pour your drinks, serve your food, decorate your home, fix your hair, design your clothes, sing your music, perform your symphonies and plays, attract tourists, who bring dollars, pay taxes which support your livelihood, oh, and lead the music at your local church!! You just don’t want us to be open about it or to infringe on your personal beliefs!

    Poor thing! We shouldn’t be feeling bad that we can’t afford health coverage or medicine or other benefits that are available to ‘normal’ people. We are supposed to feel sorry because your feelings were hurt.

    I suggest a very long, very, very long sabbatical.

  3. Kizanth

    I am looking forward to attending this meeting, and standing up to speak my piece if necessary. It should be quite interesting.

  4. L.W. Ray

    This is the final straw. Regrettably I voted for Terry Bellamy thinking she would somehow be different than the “status-quo” and move Asheville in a “progressive” direction. I now realize just being African-American and female is really only skin deep and inside she is just like any other pandering, self-serving politician. This is not the only issue she has disappointed us on and honestly I feel if she were a white male she would not have won the election with her weak platform. Sorry if that sounds racist but in this case Ms. Bellamy is sounding a little homophobic and I’m not sure that’s any better. Sorry Terry you’ve lost my vote and I feel the vote of many others too. Now move on please ’cause you suck as mayor…and why is it again that you were dissed by Obama on both visits? What about the APD corruption and crime lab investigation? The +$1.5 million debacle? The $20 million dollar Pack Square disaster? And we still don’t have bathrooms and usage is very limited because of its many shortcomings due to mis-management and lack of forethought! Why is it within 15 minutes I counted 7 police cars on Lexington Ave. plus 2 bike cops and cops in a golf card while West Asheville was being ransacked a few months ago? Do we have a city manager? If so the bridge closures on the weekends without proper detour signs is brilliant. The demise of pubic access URTV? Please tell us what you have done that would justify your re-election??? This town needs and strong mayor that is for the people and you are not it.

    Disillusioned and I vote!

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