HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Council took back its vote to acknowledge June as Pride Month at a council meeting Tuesday.
Councilman Johnny Vaught said the resolution was put on last month’s council consent agenda and was approved without any discussion because no one saw it.
Soon after, Vaught said council inboxes were flooded with calls from upset community members about their decision.
“Different people reaching out to the councilmen saying that does not reflect the views of the conservative majority of Horry County people,” Vaught said.
Vaught said no one caught it on last month’s consent agenda because of how it was worded.
“It only said that it was Pride Month, and so nobody made the connection and once we were informed that that was what happened and what we had done, we decided to raise the question, and see if the rest of the County Council agreed with us to rescind it, and they did,” Vaught said.
Councilman Danny Hardee agreed with Vaught, confirming he and other councilmen didn’t realize it was on the consent agenda.
He said if he had known he wouldn’t have voted for it.
“We talked about it and decided the fair way to do it would be to pull it off and bring it back and vote on it individually, and then anybody can vote any way they want to,” Hardee said.
T-Time Transgender Support Group gave News13 a statement regarding the rescinded vote saying:
“It is unfortunate that Horry Co. Council allows its better nature to be overruled by a vocal religious minority when the true majority of people accept LGBTQ+ persons and believe they contribute positively to their local communities.”
Grand Strand Pride also said they were hurt by the council’s decision in a statement to News13.
“Grand Strand Pride is disheartened by the action of the Horry County Council at their meeting last night quietly rescinding their resolution designating the month of June as PRIDE month in Horry County. The news dampens our spirits but we resolve to make progress by continuing our advocacy work to make all of Horry County inclusive, diverse and equal for all.”
Hardee said the vote won’t be effective until the minutes are approved at the next county council meeting on June 21.
A North Myrtle Beach teenager who identifies as LGBTQIA+, sent a letter to council after the vote expressing their disappointment.
“Frankly, after tonight, I am saddened, disheartened, and ashamed to call Horry County my home,” the letter reads. “You have made it clear that certain members of your community, which you have been elected to represent, don’t matter enough to you to recognize their month of pride, representation, and visibility.
“The thing I struggle with most about your decision, is that I don’t even see why,” the letter states. “How does not acknowledging Pride Month benefit Horry County? How does not acknowledging Pride Month benefit you? There is absolutely no benefit for anyone with this rescission, you are only deeply hurting members of your community for no apparent reason.”