June 26 should be declared “LGBT Day” in Sandy Springs, a group of advocates told the City Council at its May 17 meeting while offering up a sample resolution.

(from left) Savanna Byrd and Haseena Peera of Queer Youth for Equality speak to Sandy Springs City Council member Andy Bauman about their proposal for a local "LGBT Day" at the May 17 council meeting. (Photo John Ruch)

(from left) Savanna Byrd and Haseena Peera of Queer Youth for Equality speak to Sandy Springs City Council member Andy Bauman about their proposal for a local “LGBT Day” at the May 17 council meeting. (Photo John Ruch)

Savanna Byrd, Haseena Peera and Daryn Wilson, members of a group called Queer Youth for Equality, are visiting various north metro area cities to urge them to declare local LGBT Days on June 26. They recently spoke at the Doraville City Council, and they said Brookhaven and Dunwoody are coming soon on their list.

“Sandy Springs is a very diverse city with many LGBT citizens” who have no local celebration and may face discrimination or remain closeted, Wilson told the council. Peera said that can be especially hard on vulnerable LGBT youths, who have higher-than-average suicide rates, and seniors.

There are several efforts around the county to have June 26 declared some type of formal LGBT holiday. In part, that is because two landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions on LGBT rights were coincidentally decided on that date—a striking down of “sodomy” laws in 2003 and the upholding of same-sex marriage rights last year. In addition, the city of Atlanta declared its first “Gay Pride Day” on June 26, 1976, and last year formalized the date as an annual “LGBT Equality Day.”

Byrd, a Buford resident, and Peera and Wilson, who live in Atlanta, say that other metro cities should also offer a similar recognition and celebration of their LGBT citizens.

While speaking to the Sandy Springs council, Wilson thanked council member Andy Bauman for his recent call for a clear city policy to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. After the meeting, Bauman met briefly with the trio, asking whether any other cities have signed onto the LGBT Day effort—none have yet—and thanking them for attending.

No other city officials commented on the proposal. The city clerk accepted a copy of the proposed LGBT Day resolution.

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