LOCAL NEWS

LGBTQ groups can now reapply to parade in Provo after controversy

Jun 14, 2018, 3:12 PM | Updated: 3:17 pm

PROVO, Utah – Five LGBTQ groups may now be able to play a role in the America’s Freedom Festival Parade. The festival’s executive director has released a statement Thursday allowing them to adjust their parade applications and then resubmit them.

This after they were denied participation in the Fourth of July parade Wednesday, the same day a nondiscrimination policy with Provo was released to the public.

Executive Paul Warner announced that declined groups could reapply at the exact same time representatives from the 5 declined LGBTQ groups (Provo PFlag, Provo Pride, Mormons Building Bridges, Encircle House, and QueerMeals) held a press conference outside Provo’s city building Thursday. About 100 people attended the event.

LGBTQ representatives were surprised by the festival’s change of heart, but still disappointed and frustrated with the process which they

believe is discriminating.

Parade organizers insist these groups didn’t meet specific requirements and it has nothing to do with prejudice or discrimination.

“Provo Freedom Festival denying LGBTQ Plus organizations the opportunity to march in the parade is a tragedy because it teaches queer children and teenagers that their identities and sexual orientations are something to be hidden,” said Kris Irvin with QueerMeals.

America’s Freedom Festival said out of 122 applications, 22 were declined.
LGBTQ group reps say their parade applications filled Freedom Festival criteria which included celebrating America, instead of advertising a group.

“We proposed a parade entry that would honor our LGBTQ veterans who have sacrificed so much for this country. By rejecting this entry, the Freedom Festival is sending the message that LGBTQ people are not welcome in the parade and are not welcome in Provo,” said Erika Munson, co-founder of Mormons Building Bridges.

America’s Freedom Festival is now accepting modified applications by Friday at 5 pm. Groups interested in doing so can meet with parade organizers Thursday at 3 pm.

Mormons Building Bridges Executive Director Kendall Wilcox says for more than a month now they’ve been working with parade organizers to fulfill expectations, but Wednesday’s denial broke the spirit of their agreement.

“Call upon the organizers of the Freedom Festival to open their hearts, open their minds, and let our community march,” said Equality Utah executive director Troy Williams.

Some groups I spoke to plan to reapply. Others say they have some thinking to do.

“I look forward to the day when we can proudly and honestly say ‘United We Stand,'” said Addison Jenkins, a gay BYU student.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

West Valley City police at the scene of the crash on  3100 S 3200 W. (KSL-TV0...
Michael Houck

Three car crash closes road in West Valley City

A person was sent to the hospital in serious condition after a three-car crash on Saturday, according to West Valley Police.
20 hours ago
FILE PHOTO...
Michael Houck

South Jordan police investigate suspicious death involving vehicle fire

South Jordan Police are looking into a "suspicious" death involving a vehicle fire that happened on Thanksgiving.
20 hours ago
Local customers shop celebrate Small Business Saturday at Beehive Naturals (KSL-TV)...
Karah Brackin

Utah businesses see support during Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday marks a day to celebrate and support the small businesses in a community, many of which depend on the influx of shoppers coming in.
20 hours ago
West Valley police officers respond as a protest at the West Valley City Police Department is disru...
Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Utah Man pleads guilty to pepper spraying Black Lives Matter protesters

A man pled guilty on Tuesday to hitting Black Lives Matter protesters with pepper spray at a demonstration in West Valley City in September 2020 as part of a plea deal.
20 hours ago
A trash can fire that Mountain Green officials say is suspicious. (Mountain Green Fire Protection D...
Michael Houck

Mountain Green fire crews take down ‘suspicious’ trash can fire

First responders extinguished a burning trash can Friday evening, replicating a fire from a year ago in the Mountain Green area.
20 hours ago
The family with Baby Charlie in a living room....
Andrew Adams

Couple gives thanks to EMT who delivered baby unexpectedly-early

Mikaella and Preston Clark were hoping to make it to Utah Valley Hospital on Aug. 17 to give birth via VBAC to Charlie, when it appeared Charlie didn’t want to wait.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
LGBTQ groups can now reapply to parade in Provo after controversy