Battle Ground council split on Pride Month proclamation

With a vote of 4-3, the Battle Ground City Council narrowly approved a proclamation recognizing June 2024 as Pride Month.
Councilors Troy McCoy, Shane Bowman, Adrian Cortes and Cherish DesRochers voted for the proclamation. Councilors Tricia Davis, Victoria Ferrer and Eric Overholser voted against.
Battle Ground City Council meetings are usually a quiet affair, attracting just a handful of in-person and online attendees. But on Monday evening, dozens of people filled council chambers to voice objections or support for a Pride Month proclamation.
Ferrer said the proclamation violated city rules, which prohibit proclamations that are controversial, political or religious in nature, unless approved by a two-thirds majority of the council. That argument didn’t sit well with Bowman, who said nearly every proclamation the council considers is controversial.
“Two weeks ago, we did a proclamation to recognize law enforcement-police week. Most people in this room would probably support that,” Bowman said. But many in the community are far less supportive of the police.
“A couple of years ago, we had a whole movement on defunding police. Controversial.” Bowman said. “It’s easy to say something is controversial when we don’t agree with it.”
Davis and Overholser both said they took issue with the proclamation because it did not include everyone in Battle Ground, only members of the LGBTQ+ community. Overholser also said Battle Ground already does everything listed in the proclamation.
“I’m going to say it is controversial. We have over 100 emails in our inbox, last time I counted, in favor or against this proclamation,” Overholser said.
McCoy said he only has three rules for proclamations coming to the city for support: it’s requested, the person requesting will be available to accept the proclamation, and it’s a nationally recognized day, week or month.
“Those are the three rules. As for controversial, that’s problematic … because there have been a lot of things that have been controversial in this country,” McCoy said. “You’re on the wrong side of this.”
To watch the full meeting, go to

— Shari Phiel

Scroll to top