Monday, June 28, 2010

Pride Festival allows Brian Johnson to partake

Over the weekend the Twin Cities saw the GLBT community celebrate with a "Pride Festival". Last week the group was looking to bar Brian Johnson from being involved because of his views on homosexuality. After hearing of "Pride Festival" stance, I wrote the following to the Star Tribune (which was published in Saturday's paper): http://www.startribune.com/opinion/letters/97195119.html?elr=KArksc8P:Pc:Ug8P:Pc:UiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

The feud over Johnson smacks of hypocrisy. The Pride festival touts, on its website, that "nearly 400 vendors and exhibitors set up at the Pride Festival each year. From food and beverage to arts and crafts, employee groups and local nonprofit organizations, you can find just about anything you're looking for at the Pride Festival." But if the judge had not ruled, you would not have been able to find Brian Johnson.

Where did the tolerance, diversity and compassion go with Pride organizers? Jim Kelley, Pride festival manager, stated in the Star Tribune that "free speech and liberty belong to everyone. We are leasing this space, and if someone came into your home and started telling you what an awful family you have, [they] can have that opinion; [they] just can't have it in your house."

Again, where is the tolerance? What better place to discuss, openly, the topics concerning the community than at Pride? Or is tolerance of others only saved for the oppressed, downtrodden and castoffs of society?

When I opened the Sunday paper I was happy to hear that Johnson and his group were allowed to walk among the Pride Festival. From all accounts that I have read both yesterday and today, of the Pride Festival is that Johnson's group did not create the type of disruption that officials thought might take place.