CONSHOHOCKEN — Conshohocken mayor Yaniv Aronson’s Facebook post on Oct. 22 was up front and candid.
“I stand with mayors across the country to say that Conshohocken supports our LGBTQ family members, friends, neighbors and residents with love in our hearts and a commitment to fight against discrimination in all of its forms,” he wrote.
Aronson was declaring his homage to Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination while reminding everyone that Conshohocken’s mandates support anti-discrimination.
“Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination is a nonprofit dedicated to essentially passing nondiscrimination ordinances,” Aronson said. “Locally, we have those, so it’s less a call to action in our area and more to spur nondiscrimination ordinances around the country. National Coming Out Day was October 11th so I wanted to post it as close to that day as possible,” he added.
Aronson also serves as the Allied Ambassador for Conshohocken to the Montgomery County LGBT Business Council.
“The council put on a "Non-discrimination Ordinance Party" in Conshohocken in September 2018 to celebrate all of the ordinances passed in Montgomery County,” Aronson noted. “Conshohocken was the second municipality in Montgomery County to pass its nondiscrimination ordinance in April 2011. The event was organized by past Montco LGBT Business Council President Richard Buttacavoli."
More than 400 mayors in all 50 states have signed on to the mayors group, including Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who noted on the group’s website (mayorsagainstlgbtdiscrimination.org): “The city of Philadelphia is committed to being a fair and inclusive place where all people feel welcome, and this includes passing equal protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Full equality — no matter who you are or who you love — is not only good for our community; it’s the right thing to do. Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination will work to make fairness and inclusion a reality everywhere.”
Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto added, “I have been an ally and supporter of the LGBT community for many years, and I’m proud to say that I have been attending Pittsburgh's Pride Parade since the days when it was attended by just a few dozen activists. It’s incredibly exciting to see how LGBT rights have grown the past few years, but there is still much more we can do to fight discrimination.”
“Municipalities big and small have signed up for this,” Aronson said. “I was made aware of the group and I thought it fit really well with Conshohocken. We’ve had a very comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance on the books since 2011 so our residents support LGBTQ rights and it seemed to fit really well with what we’ve done here and I just wanted to be sure that our voices in Conshohocken were heard.”
Aronson pointed out that a local activist was trying to get a Pride Day organized, and host a block at the town's annual Arts Festival with organizations and resources “but COVID kind of knocked us out and may do that again this year with the way things are looking. In 2017 we had a slew of antidiscrimination ordinances passed all over the county and we had a celebration to highlight all the municipalities that have adopted antidiscrimination ordinances. So we made a lot of progress quickly in 2018. The goal now is to continue to have these policies put into place that prohibit discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, so as those continue to come online in municipalities I think there will be announcements about situations and things like that,” Aronson added.
“Hopefully this leads to a more open and friendly and diverse Conshohocken and Montgomery County. That’s essentially what we’re looking to do.”