Manchester Approves Resolution for LGBTQ+ Support
The Town of Manchester’s Board of Directors approved a resolution Tuesday that aims to strengthen town-wide public services and support systems for the LGBTQ+ community.
The resolution, which was approved by a 7-1-1 vote, aims to enact the following:
- The Department of Human Services is to “develop and/or identify and maintain resources and/or programs as appropriate that provide support for the LGBTQ+ community of adults and children in Manchester.”
- The Department of Public Works is to “conduct a study of existing Town buildings” to evaluate the cost of establishing gender-neutral restrooms in all Town buildings.
- The General Manager’s office is to work with the Human Resources Department to establish “ongoing programming as needed” that ensures public-facing employees and departments have sufficient training in LGBTQ+ cultural competency, establish a “designated liaison” to serve as the point-of-contact for Manchester’s LGBTQ+ community, and ensure that customer service takes a “culturally-relevant” approach in interactions with the public who may be “susceptible to discrimination or unequal treatment.”
Members of United for a Safe Inclusive Community-Manchester (USIC), a Manchester-based organization committed to serving underrepresented and marginalized communities, were outspoken in their support of the resolution.
“We are happy our town will be taking this important step and are committed to continuing to work for a truly inclusive community,” Laurel LaPorte-Grimes, a member of USIC, said in an email.
Others within the town have said this resolution is emblematic of the widespread work that has been done to guarantee that Manchester is a welcoming community for all. Chris Silver, Director of Leisure, Family and Recreation and a lifelong member of the Manchester community, said this resolution is a crucial next step in the town’s work.
“This is a continuation of our community’s recognition of marginalized communities,” Silver said. “We need to continue to do the work of creating a more inclusive, equitable [Manchester] where everyone can feel recognized.”