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PFLAG SCV's "Brewed with Pride" event at Starbucks on June 23rd brought the community together with activities for families and raised funds to support LGBTQ+ individuals and their families in Santa Clarita. Sage Rafferty of Santa Clarita Weekly interviewed Mary Morris, a retired Hart School District administrator, who highlighted PFLAG's crucial role in providing support and promoting inclusivity for the local LGBTQ+ community.


June 29, 2024 - PFLAG SCV held an event called “Brewed with Pride” at the Starbucks at Highridge Center on Newhall Ranch Road this past Sunday on June 23rd. The event included a raffle and coffee for the grownups and face painting and games for the kids. PFLAG is an organization that was founded to provide support to parents and their children who are LGBTQ+. Sage Rafferty, co-host of Santa Clarita Weekly, attended the event and talked to Mary Morris, who retired from the Hart School District. She talked about the important impact that PFLAG has had on the LGBTQ+ community in Santa Clarita Valley.


Sage Rafferty: What did you do in the Hart District?

Mary Morris: Well, I was an administrator at Canyon. I was a school psychologist at Canyon. And I was a counselor at Valencia.

Sage: Oh, that's nice. Can you talk about this event with PFLAG?

Mary: Sure, we are raising money with the help of Starbucks so we can be more of a support group to the community of gay people, parents and students and allies. We want to encourage parents and students that are gay to come to our meetings, get support.

Sage: Yeah, I know PFLAG has been a big part of the community. What kind of impact do you think PFLAG has had on this community?

Mary: I think it's been noticeable because when I go to the [Hart school] board meetings, I feel a lot of support, with some exceptions. I totally disagree with outing kids, and so we're going to work on that so that doesn't happen.


Mary was referring to a recent effort by the Los Angeles County Moms for Liberty, Hart School Board member Joe Messina, and Jerry Cook, the paster of the far-right Freedom’s Way Baptist Church, to implement a “forced outing” policy, also known as “parental notification”, in Santa Clarita Valley high schools.


Pride Month, celebrated each June, holds significant importance for the LGBTQ+ community in Santa Clarita, as it serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing fight for equality and acceptance. This month is dedicated to honoring the history, struggles, and achievements of LGBTQ+ individuals, and it provides a vital platform for raising awareness about the issues they face. Community events, such as “Brewed with Pride”, foster a sense of unity and visibility, helping to break down prejudices and promote inclusivity. By celebrating Pride Month, the community in Santa Clarita reinforces its commitment to creating a welcoming and supportive environment for all its residents, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.


Local elected officials also marked Pride Month in June. Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo (D-AD40) highlighted her endorsements by Stonewall Democrats and Equality California. “As attacks on LGBTQ+ rights intensify throughout the state and nation, it is crucial that we take bold action to defend and expand equity for everyone,” she tweeted.

Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) tweeted, “During this time we celebrate the generations of LGBTQ+ people who have fought tirelessly to live openly and authentically. And it's a time remind ourselves of the work that still has to be done to ensure freedom, dignity and equal protection under the law.”


Notably, Congressman Mike Garcia (R-CA27) did not issue any statement about Pride Month.


PFLAG held “Pride at the Park” on Friday, June 28, and Pride month will wrap up with Pride Sunday at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Sunday, June 30. Pride Sunday will be from 7:45 AM and 10:30 AM. There will be a forum called “Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQIA+ People” at 9:00 AM in Spurling Hall, followed by a Pride-themed lunch after the 10:30 AM service.

Santa Clarita Weekly

Listen to Santa Clarita Weekly with Tim Haddock and Sage Rafferty right here on SantaClaritaStar.com, on YouTube, and wherever you listen to Podcasts. The show is also on the radio on KQRU 107.9 every week on Saturdays at 9:00 AM.