The Coast News Group
Kris Buchanan
Goodonya owners Kris and Bren Buchanan shared a photo from their wedding day in 2011 with their customers in celebration of Pride Month. Courtesy photo

Local leaders, business owners reflect on Pride Month

ENCINITAS — After the City of Encinitas proclaimed June as Pride Month, local politicians and business owners are reflecting on how the city will move forward in honoring LGBTQ persons during a summer of COVID-19 and social unrest.

For Encinitas residents in the LGBTQ community, raising the Pride flag on the flag pole at City Hall, along-side the American and California State Flag for the second year in a row, was significant.

Councilman Joe Mosca, a proud father and husband, was instrumental in raising the issue with City Council in 2019.

“I serve with some very progressive and good, decent people who thought it was extremely important to have the flag right where it is at, to stand up and show that we support equality for all, especially LGBTQ civil rights,” Mosca said.

In a City Council meeting on June 10, Mayor Catherine Blakespear proclaimed the, “month of June as LGBTQ Pride Month in the city of Encinitas and invite everyone to respect, honor and celebrate our diverse community and to continue building a culture of inclusiveness and acceptance of the for the LGBTQ community.”

The City Council’s proclamation came just days before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protections extend to LGBTQ employees, prohibiting discrimination based on sex, race, religion, or national orientation.

The verdict was widely celebrated as “remarkable,” as almost half the states in America still lacked legal protection for LGBTQ employees. The new ruling now protects employees in workplaces in all 50 states.

Encinitas resident and restaurant owner, Kris Buchanan, married her wife Bren in 2011. The two have run the successful restaurant, Goodonya, in downtown Encinitas for years.

Buchanan spoke to the Coast News about her immense pride in running a restaurant in Encinitas, a city she views as forward-thinking and welcoming.

“By flying the Pride flag, it really puts it in front of people driving down the road and you see it clearly, this is a progressive town,” Buchanan said.

“With the Supreme Court’s decision, I mean, I own my own business so there’s no threat in me treating my employees that way,” Buchanan said. “But it’s a real thing in the rest of the world. The discrimination is real.”

Buchanan also found a great deal of significance in celebrating Pride Month during the same weeks as Black Lives Matter protests.

“This year has really got us thinking as a company about how we can actively be a good ally as opposed to just making a couple of social media posts,” Buchanan said. “When you give money to a company, you need to know it’s not going to fund any politician or proposition that suppresses people’s rights.”

“It’s important for companies to stand up and let people know who they are.”

Mosca also found a deeper significance in celebrating June as Pride Month this summer.

“I think it’s important to partner with Black Lives Matter and other groups that are saying, ‘enough is enough’,” Mosca said.

“There are many people still being discriminated in this state, this country, and around the world,” Mosca said. “We have an obligation to stand up, demand equality, and say that systemic and structural discrimination is unacceptable, for not only the LGBTQ community for every marginalized community in our nation.”

The City of Encinitas and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will be hosting a forum to discuss race and discriminatory relations in North County in the upcoming months. The City has not yet announced details, however, they have announced more information will be released in the future.

1 comment

concerned July 17, 2020 at 3:15 pm

The comments of Councilman Mosca of partnering with the Black Lives Matter group raise questions on what city government will be.
From another article comment -BLM are an extreme Marxist violent group formed to overthrow all systems of a civil society. Marxists and Communists may be in the future.

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