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Woodland Pride Month Declaration Passes Amid Controversy

WOODLAND (CBS13) — History was made in Woodland as the city council declared June LGBT pride month.

This comes after a failed attempt years ago, and LGBT advocates say recognition is long overdue, but not everyone is on board with the decision.

"This is a gesture of love," said Woodland city councilman Tom Stallard.

A community longing for acceptance and rallying for their rights.

LGBT advocate and transgender man Patrick Gabbett said, "It can be really difficult when you don't have public messages of support."

Juan Acosta, a longtime LGBT advocate says it's about time the city of Woodland recognized its LGBT community. He encouraged and even helped draft a proclamation declaring June Pride month. He says it's a symbol of acknowledgment and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

"I feel like this message sends out a great encouragement to be your true self," said Acosta.

But, emotions boiled as viewpoints clashed. Woodland Pastor John Evertson says he worries the proclamation would threaten traditional family values.

"Let's respect the Christian community in Woodland as well," said Evertson, " I just encourage Woodland to be what Woodland has been and stand with the word of God."

In 1998, a similar resolution was voted down by Woodland council. But Tuesday, with one council member absent, Pride month passed 4-0.

"I feel happy that I moved to Woodland honestly," said Gabbett.

Ten years of progress that Mayor Pro Tem Xochitl Rodriguez says she's proud of.

"It was a no-brainer, of course," said Rodriguez," It's important for us to support our LGBT community and to assert that we are here as a backbone."

A proclamation of pride in Woodland for a community that plans to keep fighting for acceptance.

"It's a step in the right direction and it's a step in and of itself," said Gabbett.

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