June is officially Pride Month in Long Beach after the City Council approved a resolution Tuesday to formally recognize the occasion, along with other changes to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in the city.

The unanimous vote on Tuesday repealed an old resolution that had recognized the third week of May as Pride Week in the city, something that is now not aligned with the annual Pride celebration or regional and national declarations.

Two former United States presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, had previously recognized June as Pride Month as have other cities in the region, including Los Angeles. In 2021, President Joe Biden declared June as National LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

“This resolution sends a powerful message to our residents, employees, visitors and the world that we here in Long Beach stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community,” said Councilmember Megan Kerr, who authored the item.

Councilmembers who brought the proposed change forward for a vote said that it was important to enshrine the practices in city policy so that future councils wouldn’t have to give direction to fly the flag or recognize June as Pride Month.

In addition to declaring June as Pride Month, May 22 will now be recognized as Harvey Milk Day to honor the first openly gay politician in the state, who was assassinated in 1978 just 10 months after being sworn in as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. May 22 is Milk’s birthday.

With the new resolution, the city will now raise a Progress Flag, which is a version of the Pride Flag that includes stripes for the transgender community as well as black and brown stripes for communities of color, and illuminate city assets in Pride colors during Pride Month as well as Pride Week, which will be determined based on when the annual festival is held in the city.

The annual event had occurred during the third week of May prior to the pandemic, but organizers opted to shift the event in part to take advantage of better weather later in the year. This year’s years event will take place the weekend of Aug. 5, the same weekend that a proposed LGBTQ+ mural at Bixby Park could be unveiled to the public.

LGBTQ+ mural at Bixby Park heads to commission for approval

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.