NC Pride and Imported Texan Shame
What a beautiful day in the neighborhood! Today, North Carolina celebrated the beauty of diversity and ongoing freedom of speech in Durham with the NC Pride Parade. There were thousands of people from across North Carolina, representing the LGBTQ community and our allies. Sadly, for the first time that I recall in my own attendance of the NC Pride Parade in Durham, we had hecklers from a religious organization and pamphlets handed out by Ex-Gay advocates. These people, exercising their freedom of speech, set up across the street from the Pride Event, but unlike the other church organizations that participated in the events, this group shouted damnation, hatred and anger from a very loud sound-system in an attempt to disrupt the day. Luckily, this did not work well, as members of the LGBTQ community stood across the street from the Operation Save America group and sang "Jesus Loves Me" and laughed off many of the statements of bigotry that were tossed our way. When the Dykes on Bikes revved their Harleys to drown out the sound system, a cheer went up from the happy participants in the events.
I decided to investigate the website for this group. I found that the Operation Save America group is an anti-abortion group that moved into Concord, NC, in 2002 from Dallas, Texas. Their message is best conveyed by their own words and deeds, but let it be known that they use references of violence, struggle, battle, and war in describing their God's message. Check out their May, 2006, newsletter about how they claim victory for stopping a Gay-Straight Alliance at a Rowan County High School.
Fortunately for us, we have freedom to express our own messages of love, compassion and caring. The various church groups that came to show their support for the LGBTQ community promoted positive messages. I believe that more souls will be won with acceptance than with hatred and damnation.
As usual, the NC Pride Band was in attendance, and we were joined by many new participants, including the "Rainbow Girls." All in all, this was a good day, with reminders from the religious right that our issues are not at all over and with reminders of comfort and understanding from our peers.
Categories: politics religion tolerance intolerance LGBTQ Operation+Save+America NC+Pride