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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Commissioners Court announces Parks and Recreation Month, authorizes Veterans grant

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Star file photo

During its June 20 meeting, the Hays County Commissioners Court declared June as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, July as Parks and Recreation Month and authorized a grant award from Texas Veterans Commission (TVC).
Katherine Sturdivant, the education and outreach coordinator for the Hays County Parks Department, explains how the National Recreation and Parks Association designates an annual theme for this month, which contributes to the resilience these spaces create for the community. 
According to Sturdivant, the theme for this year’s Parks and Recreation Month is “Where Community Grows.”
“In which we celebrate the vital role that parks and professionals play in bringing people together, providing essential services and fostering the growth of our communities,” Sturdivant said.
June is recognized as Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall Riots that took place in June 1969. The Stonewall Riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in New York City. 
Pride Month promotes visibility, acceptance and equality while fostering a sense of community and solidarity. 
The proclamation highlighted that in 2023 alone, state and local legislatures introduced over 600 hateful laws toward the LGBTQIA+ community.
“Despite these attacks, the LGBTQIA+ community remains resilient and defiantly and unapologetically proud,” the proclamation said. 
Mathew Gonzales, local health department manager, said LGBTQIA+ individuals face unique health challenges compared to their heterosexual counterparts.
“By acknowledging and celebrating pride, we take a small but essential step toward addressing these disparities and fostering a healthier community for all,” Gonzales said. 
Gonzales said attempts to roll back LGBTQIA+ protectors are driven by faceless misconceptions and falsehoods that are perpetuating harmful stereotypes.
“It’s important to acknowledge that while we celebrate Pride Month and recognize the progress made toward equality, we must also confront the sobering reality of ongoing attacks on LGTBQ+ rights and lives,” Gonzales said.
Hays County is celebrating Pride Month with its annual, vibrant parades and lively festivals of SMTX Pride and Wimberley Pride, as well as the day-long Pride celebration held by Pride of Dripping Springs that helps recognize the needs of the community.
The court also authorized the execution of a grant award from TVC’s Veterans Treatment Court Grant Program in the amount of $300,000.
“These are all magnificent contributions of the state, specifically helping us in wonderful partnership ways, so thank you,” Judge Ruben Becerra said. 
The Hays County Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. on select Tuesdays each month. For more information, visit its website.

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