The annual Pride parade in Wilton Manors (Pic: Facebook)
Wilton Manors in Florida has elected a fully LGBTQ city council, making it only the second city in the US to do so.
On Tuesday, voters chose to elect LGBTQ candidates to the three member City Commission. The city followed Palm Springs in California, which last year became the first in the country to boast an all-LGBTQ city council.
Openly gay Justin Flippen was elected as Wilton Manors’ new mayor. He replaced the previous gay mayor, Gary Resnick, who had served in the position for 10 years.
“I owe so much of who I am to the Island City,” said Flippen, “from my childhood and formative years, to the local businesses I have relied upon since owning my first car, to the supportive community that provided me a safe environment to be who I am…”
While no longer mayor, Resnick was still voted onto the commission. Scott Newton, the only heterosexual member of the commission, was voted out in the election.
Wilton Manors, which is part of the Miami metropolitan area, has a population of around 13,000 people. The LGBTQ Victory Fund, which supports campaigns by openly LGBTQ politicians and officials, described the town’s election as an “exciting moment”.
Said Sean Meloy, the Victory Fund’s political director: “LGBTQ people are severely under-represented at every level of government, so to have an all-LGBTQ city commission and an LGBTQ mayor in Wilton Manors would be an exciting moment, especially given the strong LGBTQ community there.”
The city was in 2010 named the “Second gayest City” in the United States for having the second-highest concentration of LGBTQ residents in the US. The first was Provincetown, Massachusetts. Wilton Manors also hosts a popular annual Stonewall Pride Festival and Parade.
This week’s US midterm elections were historic in terms of the diversity of the candidates elected. There were more than 150 openly LGBTQ people voted into office, including the first ever gay state governor, in Colorado.