NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT) — The Town of Newburgh is showing support for one of their own after a business owner discovered a discriminatory note posted on his front door.
“Two days ago, I woke up thinking it was a community of hate. Two days later, we have the best gay pride parade ever,” said Ken Oliver.
Monday morning, Oliver, an openly gay business owner, work up to a sign on his front door telling him he was a shame to the City of Newburgh. Wednesday, the community came together to show their support with a parade.
“For my own personal struggles and things I’ve overcome it’s important to have that effective voice in a community. So, that’s why I’m here,” said Jor’Dan Crim. Crim drove from Carbondale, Illinois to be in Newburgh for the parade.
“I felt so empathetic that this had to happen to him. I’ve been in places where people were attacking people back in the old days and I’ve seen lots of things and I felt very sorry for him,” said Yvon Lauren. Lauren has been active in the Tri-State trying to get various ordinances passed to better protect members of the LGBTQ+ community.
After the parade, the Town Council condemned what happened to Oliver as members passed two resolutions to further support the LGBTQ+ community.
The first resolution establishes June as Pride Month in Newburgh. The second resolution acknowledges and rejects discrimination and establishes a diversity committee to review and oversee the town’s practices.
“The fact that one person thought that they could shame me or intimidate me in this community, really they were so mistaken to think that. I’m very thankful that that person did that because it gave us this opportunity to have this way bigger conversation about what we want Newburgh to be, and really our community to be,” said Oliver.
Oliver does have a doorbell camera but says it didn’t capture who left the note, but believes they left it shortly after midnight.
The Tri-State Alliance announced they are making Saturday ‘Ken Oliver Appreciation Day.’ They are asking anyone in the Tri-State to bring signs to their support of the LGBTQ+ community and gather at 11 a.m. at State Route 66 and State Route 261.
(This story was originally published on June 24, 2020)