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June could be pride month in Marathon County

Marathon County, Wisc. (WAOW) — June could soon be recognized as “pride month” in Marathon County. The Diversity Affairs Commission discussed a new proclamation on this issue during their Tuesday meeting.

Yee Leng Xiong, chair of the commission, said they want to push the proclamation forward in order to recognize the LGBT+ Community in Marathon County.

While it is still in draft stages, the proclamation has drawn mixed reactions from community members. Sara Etten said her religious background makes LGBT+ pride a difficult thing to address. “I’m born and raised Christian, I have basic bible values,” said Etten. “It’s just a hard topic for me.”

Seville Haderlein, another resident, said, “It doesn’t bother me what-so-ever because honestly, I feel that you love who you love.”

Xiong stressed the importance of diversity in attracting a younger workforce. “We are right now trying to compete for a workforce, a young workforce of young individuals,” said Xiong.

A 2017 study from UCLA shows 30% of out LGBT adults in Wisconsin are between the ages of 18 and 24, So attracting those young workers may also mean attracting LGBT workers.

A sentiment that Seville Haderlein can get behind. “There shouldn’t be shame in the kind of person you are,” said Haderlein.

The Diversity Affairs Commission plans to decide the proclamation on June 18. They hope for the Marathon County Board to decide by the end of June.

Tom Lally

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