Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Christian denied float at Pride parade

When I first decided to attend this event I felt it was important to call the director of this parade to explain my intent on my registration before paying the fee in case I was denied entry.

After several days I spoke with the director who seemed more than willing to accept my registration with little scrutiny and said we urge everyone to attend as long as they are friendly toward the LGBT community, I assured him I meant no harm.

I remember having difficulty paying online and was confused on where I might find the application to submit online so I called again to ask. The director very nicely told me that he already had my name on the list so even that the registration was past the due date, because of the payment issues, I would still be allowed in and all I needed to do was pay my fee and to do it on the online store. After several attempts my payment was confirmed.

I had called later wanting to know if the applicants were going to be informed of the details on where to meet and he said they were working on those and we should have those in a few days.

I called a week or so later to ask a few more questions regarding logistics when I was told on his voicemail that he was no longer the director and to call another number.

I called the number and I was politely greeted by an individual that said he was now in charge and that since I was on the list but hadn't received my payment I was no longer allowed a float in the parade. I shared my dissappointment and he told me the reason was because the permit for the city had already been turned in, so it wasnt up to him but the city.

This morning, I called the City clerks office and explained the situation and she told me that this permit had nothing to do with the my denial and that the city would not have a problem with me being part of the parade.

I made several attempts to contact this individual and have not received a return call to tell me why I was denied access.

Was the former director fired when people found out that he allowed my entrance? Sources say he had to take a leave but why would someone take a leave just before an event he planned and think that someone would just be able to pick up where he left off?

Was I denied for possible viewpoint discrimmination? From this perspective what I am seeing here is something that appears inconsistent with the teachings of this community, one of "tolerance," "diversity," and acceptance for all, after all they did say everyone was welcome and we urge the family to attend.

I realize that they could use the fact that I payed after the deadline and for that I am guilty as charged but I did have prior arraingments and an understanding with the director before he left. Is it the vendors or the attendees fault that they had a change in management one week before this event?

He had also stated that he would have no problem refunding my regstration fee. I asked How can you refund something you say you never received?

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