The inaugural Upper Peninsula Rainbow Pride Festival is set for Saturday at Tourist Park in Marquette. The purpose of the event is to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The Marquette City Commission even declared Saturday Rainbow Pride Festival Day, extending its wishes for a successful festival.
There was a time when it would have been exceedingly rare for any government body to publicly back such an event. Hopefully, that time has passed.
The festival is a big deal for the LGBT members of society who for too long have had to either keep quiet about their lifestyles or - If they did come out - endure discrimination and disapproval.
The commission also approved a resolution supporting the LGBT community, declaring no city-provided services will discriminate "based on sexual orientation or sexual identity, and no policy or procedure shall be used that will have the effect of creating unequal opportunities."
The resolution also stated the city is committed to "promoting and fostering the values of tolerance, solidarity and dialogue and to encouraging the building of trust and cooperation to the benefit of the society and community in which we live, and to take steps to ensure vulnerable members of our community are not subject to discrimination or harassment in all aspects of their lives."
That's a lot of language, but the LGBT community is more than deserving of it. It would be nice not to need such an official resolution, but society hasn't yet evolved to where the community isn't vulnerable to difficult circumstances and situations.
After all, Michigan's ban on gay marriage was struck down by the U.S. District Court for Michigan's Eastern District, but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the ruling indefinitely pending an appeal.
Regardless of public opinion on same-sex unions, LGBT people deserve the right to experience basic rights such as obtaining good employment and finding a place to live - all without hassle.
We hope after Saturday, the spirit behind the event lingers in day-to-day life throughout the community.