Vacaville mayor refuses to recognize Pride Month, center says

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Thursday May 25, 2023
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Vacaville Mayor John Carli has refused to recognize June as LGBTQ Pride Month, according to the Solano Pride Center. Photo: From Facebook
Vacaville Mayor John Carli has refused to recognize June as LGBTQ Pride Month, according to the Solano Pride Center. Photo: From Facebook

Vacaville Mayor John Carli will not be issuing a proclamation to recognize Pride Month, and will not raise the rainbow flag, according to the Solano County Pride Center.

"Solano Pride Center met with Vacaville Mayor Carli on May 24, 2023, to discuss celebrating and acknowledging Pride Month," Sarah White of the Pride center in the North Bay stated in a May 25 news release. "Breaking precedent, Mayor Carli is refusing to raise the Pride flag, or issue a proclamation recognizing June 2023 as LGBTQ Pride Month in Vacaville."

Indeed, as White stated, Vacaville's two previous mayors recognized June as Pride Month and for the last two years has flown the rainbow flag. According to White, Carli's refusal means Vacaville will be the only city in Solano County not to recognize Pride Month in some fashion.

"Now more than ever, LGBTQ rights across the U.S. are under assault," White stated. "With over 400 bills introduced targeting trans/nonbinary people, attempting to ban drag shows, seeking to block access to gender-affirming healthcare, and banning books in schools that mention LGBTQ people.

"At this inflection point in our nation's struggle for LGBTQ equality, it is unfortunate Mayor Carli has decided to move Vacaville in the wrong direction by not standing in solidarity with the LGBTQ community," White added.

A spokesperson for the city of Vacaville told a B.A.R. reporter May 25 via phone that he "should be hearing back from the mayor" and took down his number.

In 2020, Dixon was the sole city in Solano County not to recognize the Pride Month, which celebrates the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots as the beginning of the modern LGBTQ rights movement in the United States, as the Bay Area Reporter reported contemporaneously.

At that time, Dixon's mayor, Thom Bogue, did not respond to the B.A.R.'s questions.

Carli, a former police chief of seven years, was elected to a four-year term as Vacaville's mayor last November. He'd been with Vacaville police since 1989.

The Pride center noted its long-standing work in the city and county.

"Solano Pride Center has supported the LGBTQ community of Vacaville for 25 years, and will continue to stand united with LGBTQ people in Vacaville and across Solano County," the center's statement continued. "The unwillingness and resistance by Vacaville's mayor illustrates why it is necessary to host Vacaville Pride annually."

The Solano Pride Center will be hosting its third annual Vacaville Pride Saturday, June 3, from noon to 4 p.m. in Andrews Park, 614 E. Monte Vista Avenue.

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