Metro Weekly

Charlotte Pride Parade rejects Gays for Trump float

Organizer of "Deplorable Pride Ball" says he plans to sue over his exclusion from the parade

Photo: puroticorico, via Wikimedia.

Conservatives are in an uproar over the “intolerance” of the gay Left after the Charlotte Pride Parade rejected a request to allow “Gays for Trump” to enter a float in the parade.

The story immediately went viral on social media, with outlets like Breitbart and Fox News quickly seizing upon the rejection as an example of “narrow-minded political bigotry” and the politicization of LGBTQ rights.

When asked why it rejected the application for a “Gays for Trump” float, Charlotte Pride responded in a statement that it “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.

“In the past, we have made similar decisions to decline participation from other organizations espousing anti-LGBTQ religious or public policy stances,” the statement continued.

The float, which was the brainchild of gay Republicans Brian Talbert and Derek Van Cleve, was going to have American flags, “Make America Great” signs, and drag queens dressed as Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty.

“All we wanted to do is let the community know the gay community does not speak for every single gay — just like the mayor of Pittsburgh does not speak for every single person in Pittsburgh,” Van Cleve told Fox News pundit Todd Starnes.

“It was going to be fun. We wanted to be energetic. We wanted to show that we weren’t the racist, bigot, misogynistic,” says Tablert. “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 told Fox 46 Charlotte.

Talbert has accused Charlotte Pride of being “hypocritical” by claiming to support tolerance and acceptance while rejecting or shunning those with different political beliefs.

“I don’t judge them for how they vote. I believe men and women died to give us that right to choose our own leader,” he said. “They don’t extend the same courtesy to me being a gay Republican.”

The Gays for Trump contingent, also referred to in some conservative circles as “Deplorable Pride,” is not affiliated with the national “Gays for Trump” organization that sprouted up to support the president during the 2016 campaign. Nonetheless, the official Gays for Trump organization sprang to the defense of their conservative brethren. In a statement issued via Twitter, the group’s president, Peter Boykin, noted that they had received reports of a similar incident in Ohio.

“President Trump before and at Day One has been in 100% support for gays and all American citizens to the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Boykin said. “I am saddened by and condemn the rejection of anyone from our movement being condemned from the ‘gay community’ — one that so-called preaches diversity. A community, that will, it seems, continue down the illogical and incorrect liberal path that so many seem to be blindly following. A path leading them to rather embrace ideologies that work against all Americans, including the LGBT safety and way of life.

“The Gays for Trump movement will not stand down; we will continue to take action against any group that denies us of our right to peaceful assembly.”

Talbert has said he plans to sue Charlotte Pride for excluding him from the parade. Already, a GoFundMe page he set up to cover the cost of legal fees has raised over $6,000. He has also planned some events to serve as an alternative to Charlotte Pride, including “The Deplorable Pride Ball.” According to the website for the event, “The Deplorable Pride Ball is a celebration for everyone! All sexual orientations, all races, all religions and all political parties are welcome with open, loving arms. WE DO NOT DISCRIMINATE!”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com