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Washtenaw County shows support for LGBTQ community by raising Pride flag

Washtenaw County officials raised a pride flag at the county’s administration building Friday morning. This annual event is meant to show support for the LGBTQ community during Pride month.

A few dozen members of the community gathered to raise the flag in downtown Ann Arbor.

Shannon Beeman is a Washtenaw County Commissioner representing Ward 3.

“It’s so important to have members of the community recognized for their contributions, for what they have gone through to be recognized in this way today. The trials and tribulations that they still face every day, even here in Washtenaw County, just to be who they are and love who they love.”

Pride not only celebrates the LGBTQ community, but also acknowledges that there is more work to be done in the fight for equality.

Eli Savit is the county’s prosecuting attorney. He says among the progress made just in the last year is a package of updates being considered to the state’s hate crimes law. Savit says anyone who targets someone based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression would be charged as a hate crime.

“In Washtenaw County, we’ve already been prosecuting those cases that way based on legal guidance that I have submitted, but that’s not the case in all 83 counties in Michigan. And so, this change to the law will make it so hate anywhere in the state is prosecuted as a hate crime which is long overdue.”

This is the third year that the rainbow pride flag will fly alongside the state flag at the county administration building.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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