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PFLAG Westminster – Carroll County, Maryland Chapter

Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays - Moving Equality Forward
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Valentine’s Dance in Westminster Highlights Progress

Written by  Steve Charing

Photo by Steve Charing

Photo by Steve Charing

Those attending the PFLAG-Westminster/Carroll County Valentine’s dance on a frigid February 15 felt a warm sense of accomplishment while enjoying the music, decorations, refreshments, and prizes. For the second year in a row, the chapter was successful in requesting the public school system in Westminster to display fliers from the event throughout the middle and high schools in the city.

While this may not be viewed by some as a significant breakthrough, consider that Carroll County is among the more socially conservative jurisdictions in Maryland. For instance, the state upheld same-sex marriage in a referendum in 2012 by a 52-48 percent margin; Carroll County voters opposed it by 56 to 44 percent

The flier provided information about the dance and advertises that both LGBTQ and straight allies are invited to attend. At PFLAG’s request, Carey Gaddis, supervisor of community and media relations in the Carroll County Public Schools system, asked the schools in an email to allow the flier to be displayed.

“The e-mail was sent to principals in middle and high schools and was very nice and supportive and basically directed the schools to allow these fliers to be left for distribution,” Joy Fisher, the chapter’s new president, told Baltimore OUTloud.

“I think this is going to be a good year with the school board. There seems to be many allies in the group. This will be a slow and steady movement, but it is definitely a positive movement and it feels like we finally may have some folks who really hear us and understand the importance and need to support our LGBT children in the school system,” Fisher says.

The event was co-sponsored by the Westminster PFLAG chapter, the Rainbow Book Club and St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.


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