Photo: Charlotte Pride, via Facebook.
Charlotte’s Pride parade is no stranger to protest. In past years, fringe religious groups have stationed themselves along the parade route, holding signs, quoting Bible verses, and promising eternal damnation. But this year, the parade will find a surprising new group among the protesters: gay conservatives.
Deplorable Pride, a Charlotte-based Republican group, plans to hold a march 30 minutes before the kickoff of the official parade on Sunday, Aug. 27. Members will walk as part of a “non-confrontational peaceful demonstration” from Romare Bearden Park to the corner of Trade and Tryon streets, the central location of most Pride activities for the weekend, reports The Charlotte Observer.
The protest sprang out of Charlotte Pride’s decision to reject an application from Deplorable Pride to march and drive a float through the parade that celebrates their support for President Donald Trump.
Members of the group previously said they wanted to have American flags, “Make America Great” signs, and drag queens dressed as Melania Trump and the Statue of Liberty on the float.
But organizers with Charlotte Pride rejected the application, saying they reserved the right to reject any group it feels does not reflect the parade’s values of welcoming groups on the fringes of American society, including undocumented immigrants.
“In the past, we have made similar decisions to decline participation from other organizations espousing anti-LGBTQ religious or public policy stances,” Charlotte Pride said in a statement. “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.”
Police estimate that up to 130,000 people will attend either the parade — which is the largest parade of any type in the city — or the Pride festival, which runs over the weekend of Aug. 26-27.
Deplorable Pride says they intend to make their presence known in order to call attention to what they say is viewpoint discrimination based on their political beliefs.
“Come and show your support for your fellow Trump supporters who are LGBT and are being persecuted by their own gay community,” the group said in a statement on its website. “Please help us show that intolerance is not acceptable.
“Everyone is included at our event,” the group adds. “Regardless of your political views! We are truly all inclusive.”