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  Comments (158) Total Thursday Apr. 24, 2014
 
Petition Submitted to Stop Kalispell Gay Pride Parade
Montana Pride Celebration scheduled for June
A petition to stop an upcoming gay pride parade was submitted to Kalispell City Council and dominated the public comment period at its most recent meeting. Opponents of the Montana Pride Celebration called it “immoral,” while supporters urged councilors to support equal rights and embrace diversity.

Mayor Pam Kennedy pointed out that the council could not discuss the parade because it wasn’t on the agenda. Both she and Interim City Manager Myrt Webb did confirm that organizers had received a permit for the parade and met all the city’s contractual obligations.

Barry Brubaker presented the petition to the council and said that allowing the parade to proceed would “further erode morality and set precedence for future lasciviousness and lewd displays that other communities have experienced.” He said, as of May 18, about 200 people had signed the petition.

He and four others spoke in opposition to the march. About a dozen people told the council that they supported it.

Neal Brown, who is on the board of directors of the Montana Human Rights Network and lives in Bigfork, said “we don’t discriminate by race, or creed, or religion, or sex or sexual orientation. So I ask that this council not only allow this celebration to go forward, but to embrace it.”

Other community members echoed that sentiment and vowed that the parade would not be vulgar. “We’re not going out to make a scene like in San Francisco,” Dee Boyce said. “…We want to show some pride that we’re from Montana and that it’s a welcoming state.”

Some speakers referenced religion in stating their positions. Rev. David Beaulieu of Valley Victory Church said he was concerned about “the agenda – the agenda that might silence voices that might want to stand up for Christ or stand up for what the Bible says about moral behavior.” Kathy Kelly, who represented the Flathead Valley Church of Christ, said, “We believe we are all made in the image of God – everyone of us.”

The Montana Pride Celebration is in its fifth year, and was previously held twice in Billings and twice in Helena with little disruption. Kalispell was chosen for 2009 and the event on June 19-20 includes a parade, a fair with booths at Depot Park and two dances at Red Lion Inn. All the events are open to gay and straight people.

Local law enforcement reportedly expects protests at the event and will have extra patrol during the two days. An anonymous e-mail circulated to local media last month warned that people may try to disrupt the parade. But following an investigation, police couldn’t confirm the report and there have been no threats since.
 
On 06-19-10, kalispelling bee commented....
“By littlehawk12 on 05-28-09 If having parades and dressing up like a clown was that important to me I would just join the circus.” You should give it some thought. You posted on the Inter Lake’s web site that you are half American Indian. Now you are also half black?…
 
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