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Charlotte Pride rejects Gays for Trump float for parade

Charlotte Pride has denied a float entry in this summer’s Pride Parade in uptown Charlotte to a group called Gays for Trump.
Charlotte Pride has denied a float entry in this summer’s Pride Parade in uptown Charlotte to a group called Gays for Trump. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte Pride has denied a float entry in this summer’s Pride Parade in uptown Charlotte to a group called Gays for Trump.

Charlotte Pride reserves the right to decline participation at our events to groups or organizations which do not reflect the mission, vision and values of our organization, as is acknowledged in our parade rules and regulations by all groups at the time of their parade application,” the Charlotte Pride Board of Directors said in a statement Wednesday.

The denial of the Gays for Trump float quickly went viral on conservative websites across the country, including Breitbart News, where the story was “trending.”

“Sadly, it’s really not that surprising,” Conservative Country said of the float denial. “To the left-wing, ‘tolerance’ really means only tolerating people who agree with them on all fronts.”

In a statement, Peter Boykin, president of #GaysforTrump, said he was saddened by and condemns the rejection of anyone “from our movement being condemned from the ‘Gay Community,’ one that preaches so-called diversity.”

He said #DeplorablePride, a faction of Gays for Trump, had been denied participation in the parade and festival.

Brian Talbert, a member of Gays for Trump, which is not affiliated with the Greensboro-based Gays for Trump organization, told Fox 46 that he and a fellow gay Trump supporter sent in an application to Charlotte Pride so they could have a float in this year’s Charlotte Pride Parade, but were denied. Talbert started Deplorable Pride.

“It was going to be fun,” he told the station. “We wanted to be energetic. We wanted to show that we weren’t the racist, bigot, misogynistic … . We wanted to show that we are Americans, love our country and our president. We wanted to be there to celebrate gay pride. Everything fell into place except being able to celebrate who I am,” he said.

Since posting its story, Fox 46 reported, donors gave Talbert almost $3,000 in 24 hours for legal fees to sue Charlotte Pride.

In its statement, Charlotte Pride’s board said: “In the past, we have made similar decisions to decline participation from other organizations espousing anti-LGBTQ religious or public policy stances. Charlotte Pride envisions a world in which LGBTQ people are affirmed, respected, and included in the full social and civic life of their local communities, free from fear of any discrimination, rejection, and prejudice.”

Charlotte Pride said it invites “all individuals, groups, organizations and causes which share our values to join our community's celebration of the LGBTQ community, history, arts and culture during the Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade, Aug. 26-27, 2017.”

Charlotte' annual gay pride festival and parade draws up to 120,000 people each year.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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