Lake Worth Beach has become Florida’s first sanctuary city for the LGBTQ+ community.
Last night, the Commission of Lake Worth Beach declared itself a sanctuary and safe space that is dedicated to protecting the healthcare, education and lives of the queer community.
Mayor Betty Resch told CBS News, “Lake Worth Beach is a vibrant and diverse city with a proud history of embracing the gay community. Today we continue that tradition by ensuring our city remains a welcoming place for LGBTQ+ people.” CBS also indicated a similar proposal has been made in Tallahassee, Florida.
Lake Worth Beach and the greater Palm Beaches are known for their LGBTQ+ culture and population, which is supported by the Compass Community Center, an organization that has been serving the LGBTQ+ community for 35 years. The group offers mental and physical health services, youth programs and community events.
Passport Magazine recently spoke with Lake Worth Beach resident, Michael Riordan, a transgender woman who said her favorite event in the area is Palm Beach Pride, a two day celebration of LGBTQ+ identities that takes place at the end of March every year, a tradition that has existed in the area for over two decades.
Sanctuary cities have been popping up around the country. In May of this year, Kansas City declared itself a sanctuary for the LGBTQ+ community, and West Hollywood dubbed itself a trans sanctuary in response to anti-trans and homophobic legislation being proposed and passed nationwide.
The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council was one of the groups piloting the appointment of the sanctuary. Council member Rand Hoch, said “We want to let people know that you are welcome here, if you’re gay, lesbian or trans. And that’s an important statement to make these days because what people are hearing is the exact opposite.”