The Latest: LGBT groups allowed in Utah July 4 parade
PROVO, Utah (AP) — The Latest on plans for a Utah Fourth of July parade (all times local):
Organizers of a prominent Utah July Fourth festival are reversing course and allowing LGBT organizations to march in its parade.
LGBT Mormon activist Kendall Wilcox said Thursday he and other activists had an emotional meeting with organizers of America’s Freedom Festival that resulted in an agreement allowing the five organizations to participate.
Organizers had previously rejected the groups, hours after signing a nondiscrimination clause with the city of Provo. Organizers said their applications didn’t meet the festival’s requirements, though it was unclear what was lacking.
Wilcox said three of the groups will be represented on a parade float themed “Utah’s LGBT community celebrates America.” He said festival organizers will pay for the float.
The other two groups will march with a quilt representing different types of families.
America’s Freedom Festival didn’t immediately comment on the deal.
America’s Freedom Festival at Provo will once again exclude an LGBT resource center for youths from its July 4 parade.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports Stephenie Larsen, found of the group, Encircle, said Wednesday the nonprofit festival organization told the group that its proposed entry does not celebrate patriotism. The group also was ousted last year.
Kendall Wilcox, a member of Mormons Building Bridges, which also had its application declined, says four other LGBT support groups — including two that filed a joint application — also were rejected by the organization.
The Freedom Festival said in a statement that 22 applicants were rejected because they “were deemed outside the parameters of the parade guidelines.”
The unsigned statement did not identify those groups.
Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi earlier Wednesday hailed the nondiscrimination deal she signed with Freedom Festival officials.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com