Under Trump, LGBT rights are under fire – but in this progressive desert haven, a historic moment was met with a shrug: ‘It’s not an issue here’
Palm Springs has just ushered in America’s first all-LGBT city council and this is what it’s doing to celebrate: nothing.
No rainbow flag over city hall, no pride parade, no proclamation about making history, not even a press release. In fact it has barely acknowledged the milestone.
“Tell the truth, I didn’t even think about it until after the election,” the mayor, Robert Moon, 68, said in an interview this month as the new council prepared to convene. “You see, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not an issue here.”
The struggle for gay and transgender rights, in other words, has so triumphed in this wealthy desert oasis it sees little remarkable about electing three gay men, a transgender woman and a bisexual woman, all Democrats, to its five-member council.
A precedent-setting event which might elicit cheers and controversy elsewhere unfolded in this picturesque corner of California’s Coachella valley with a shrug and some bemusement at national and international interest.
“The reaction in Palm Spring was very much, OK, so?” said Geoff Kors, a council member. “People are simply judged on their merits.”
The real victory, he and other council members said, was not that LGBT candidates swept the election but that they did so with barely a mention of sexual orientation or gender identity. Voters cared more about policing, homelessness and roads.