Gay pride event in works for downtown Augusta

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A gay pride event, with a parade and a concert on the Savannah River, is planned for downtown Augusta on Father's Day weekend, and organizers expect it to draw thousands of people from the region.

"We're targeting the general public," said Alejandro Wade-Coronado, vice president of Augusta Pride. "It's community awareness."

Wade-Coronado submitted a request to the city Wednesday for permission to parade on Broad Street on June 19. The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has already signed off, and the group is awaiting approval from the fire department, Recreation & Parks and Mayor Deke Copenhaver, according to Traffic Engineering Technician Dennis Ellis.

Wade-Coronado said he signed contracts with Recreation & Parks on Tuesday to use the Augusta Common and the Jessye Norman Amphitheater on that date. He said he's booked R&B singer Thelma Houston and second-season American Idol contestant Frenchie Davis to perform.

Augusta Pride, which has 20 members, estimates around 4,000 gays and lesbians live in the Augusta area, Wade-Coronado said. People protest gay pride events in Los Angeles, where he recently moved from with his partner, and he said he expects the same to happen here. He said he's heard several churches are opposed.

"We know that we're in the belt buckle of the Bible belt," he said. "We're all here. We all exist. There's no reason for us to be divided."

Augusta hasn't had a major gay pride event since the 1990s.

Wade-Coronado is asking that the north side of Broad Street between Sixth and 10th streets, and 10th Street from Broad to Reynolds streets, be closed from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well as Reynolds behind the Augusta Common from 6 a.m. to midnight. The parade would begin at 10:30 a.m., he said.

Wade-Coronado said he has a meeting scheduled for Wednesday with Copenhaver.

Ellis said under city procedures, if the sheriff's office, the fire department, the parks department or the mayor's office have any objections, they'll try to work them out with the applicant. Ellis said he'll likely approve the parade once he gets the necessary approvals.

"I have no legal grounds not to," he said. "The fact that the sheriff has already signed off on it tells you how that's going to go."

Wade-Coronado said he's hoping to not only raise money for HIV/AIDS treatment, but also to bring money to the local economy. June's event has been coordinated with gay pride groups from other cities, and he expects to draw 4,000 to 8,000 people, including visitors from Atlanta, Savannah and Charleston, he said.

It will be a "family event," he said. The parade will have floats and fire trucks, and bounce houses will be set up for children at the Augusta Common.

"We're not here to put anything in everybody's faces," he said. "It's just to raise awareness about gay rights here in the city."

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Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 02/12/10 - 01:54 am
0
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Thelma Houston.. now that

Thelma Houston.. now that should be interesting

kat30815
14
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kat30815 02/12/10 - 04:12 am
0
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There are some things that

There are some things that should be kept discreet. An event such as this is highly unnecessary. If thats who you are, thats who YOU are. Tell the people who really need to know and leave it at that. Don't have a parade about it.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 02/12/10 - 05:23 am
0
0
Ho boy, this is fun. The CSRA

Ho boy, this is fun. The CSRA gay community is well over 4,000, but since they have chosen to live in a very conservative community, they're probably fairly conservative themselves. The "very in your face" gay pride movement is the opposite of conservative and if you've ever seen one of the Los Angeles or San Francisco (truly freak show) parades, the pride part is questionable, too. Gays are part of our community ... I don't think gay promotion is. We'll just have to see how well the West Coast ultraliberal perspective goes over in Augusta. LOL

fdn315
2
Points
fdn315 02/12/10 - 06:27 am
0
0
Say what you want but gays

Say what you want but gays are good for business. i think this is a good thing

sdrwtcn
0
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sdrwtcn 02/12/10 - 06:52 am
0
0
This should be an interesting

This should be an interesting event for diversity challenged Augustans.

Fish Out of Water
0
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Fish Out of Water 02/12/10 - 07:07 am
0
0
Watch. The same people on

Watch. The same people on here day after day waving their copy of the constitution any time they feel their free speech or right to bear arms is in jeopardy will be here today trying to justify their hypocritical belief that gays shouldn't have the right to have a parade. Conservatives are quick to cite the freedoms this country allows us, but they only support those freedoms when it benefits their beliefs. I sincerely hope they get the opportunity to have this parade, and that they can one day enjoy the constitutional freedom that the rest of us sometimes takes for granted.

Petey Aitchess
0
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Petey Aitchess 02/12/10 - 07:12 am
0
0
The word I'd personally use

The word I'd personally use to describe this event is "Repulsive" not "Un-Constitutional". I'll neither support nor interfere with it. That's all I have to say on the matter.

bettyboop
7
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bettyboop 02/12/10 - 07:32 am
0
0
puke

puke

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 02/12/10 - 07:34 am
0
0
Fish, you're making up

Fish, you're making up qualities and assigning them to others. THIS IS A CONSERVATIVE AREA. That means a lot of things. The Gay Pride parades of the metropolitan areas, all bastions of liberalism, have been in existence for a long time. The reason they're not here is because they're considered "inciting to riot" efforts. That may not be their intent, but that is the reaction they inspire. For foolish and ultra sensitive posters this may seem mean, but in real life not all parts of this huge country have the same perspective. If the liberal gay movement wants to slap the locals in the face with a rotted fish (and that's the perceived intent of this parade) then they don't need to expect a warm welcome.

Runner46
0
Points
Runner46 02/12/10 - 07:56 am
0
0
This is one event I will

This is one event I will skip. Not my idea of a good time.

Bond..James..Bond
0
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Bond..James..Bond 02/12/10 - 08:21 am
0
0
I'm not gay but I have many

I'm not gay but I have many friends that I suspect are gay.

JackBootedThug
0
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JackBootedThug 02/12/10 - 08:29 am
0
0
" gay rights"....???? Why

" gay rights"....???? Why would a certain sexual preference need any "rights" that they don't already have? I want my hetero rights!!!!

USA4Life
0
Points
USA4Life 02/12/10 - 08:30 am
0
0
Fathers Day Weekend? This is

Fathers Day Weekend? This is just a blatant attack on the family. I propose we plan a Heterosexual Pride/Fathers Day Celebration that weekend as well.

Fish Out of Water
0
Points
Fish Out of Water 02/12/10 - 08:32 am
0
0
You said it yourself:

You said it yourself: "perceived" intent. The problem lies with those perceiving this in that way, not the ones organizing a peaceful event. If you are offended, simply stay home. That's your right. It's the same right I exercise every time I don't attend a local TEA party rally. While I don't agree with them, I strongly agree with and defend their right to get together in a public setting and speak their minds.

Buckeye
2
Points
Buckeye 02/12/10 - 08:34 am
0
0
Gay Pride events are almost

Gay Pride events are almost always held in June. June is Gay Pride Month. We remember the Stonewall Inn Riots, we reflect on past struggles and we look forward to a day when ALL citizens of this great nation will be treated equally.

willienelson
5
Points
willienelson 02/12/10 - 08:40 am
0
0
I'm thinking this will be a

I'm thinking this will be a hoot. I wouldn't miss it for the world. May be the first time we actually get to see many posters on here face to face. If I were to guess who I would expect to see from here.......I will not make any personal attacks . That would be wrong. Anyone else planning to attend? If gay is your way, that's ok. If I do go I will certainly take my folding chair. At events like this I tend to sit down and keep my mouth shut.

jb1234
0
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jb1234 02/12/10 - 08:53 am
0
0
Can't say I agree with the

Can't say I agree with the whole 'gay lifestyle' thing, but they're citizens just like I am, so why can't they have parades? Can't be any worse than religious folks constantly trying to get me to go to their church when I already am a member of one.

USA4Life
0
Points
USA4Life 02/12/10 - 08:45 am
0
0
One other poster mentioned a

One other poster mentioned a KKK parade in Augusta. THe city could make millions of dollars if we could get the KKK in town for the same weekend and charge admission to see the War that would follow. Id pay to see it..lol.

jb1234
0
Points
jb1234 02/12/10 - 08:54 am
0
0
USA4Life, that's just

USA4Life, that's just wrong...

willienelson
5
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willienelson 02/12/10 - 08:53 am
0
0
The KKK wouldn't have a

The KKK wouldn't have a chance. Those gay guys would hissy fit them to death. I'm joking. Stop it. I'm using a stereotype here to be funny. I know it would be the women folk who would do their fighting.

Fish Out of Water
0
Points
Fish Out of Water 02/12/10 - 08:58 am
0
0
Actually, it looks like

Actually, it looks like you're the first to mention that group. That's another event I would definitely not waste a second of my life to attend, but as long as no one is getting beaten or getting crosses burned on their front lawns, they can whistle "dixie" all they want to whomever still cares to listen.

USA4Life
0
Points
USA4Life 02/12/10 - 09:18 am
0
0
Im sorry, the KKK parade was

Im sorry, the KKK parade was mentioned on yesterdays blogs about the pride festival.

inAUGsince1832
0
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inAUGsince1832 02/12/10 - 10:23 am
0
0
I don't mind diversity, and

I don't mind diversity, and don't think Augusta dislikes diversity either. I just don't want to see 2 men kiss, or jaunt around downtown in their "fabulous" costumes.
There is a fine line between celebrating diversity, and throwing it in everyone's faces. This is perhaps the latter.

Brad Owens
4859
Points
Brad Owens 02/12/10 - 11:43 am
0
0
Heck yes! Downtown

Heck yes! Downtown restaurants and bars will clean up with a venue like this coming. Say what you want about 'gay' folks, they have and spend money when it comes to having a good time. You all should lighten up, this is a convention more or less and I thoght that tourism was the future.

diduknow
0
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diduknow 02/12/10 - 11:58 am
0
0
Augusta has a Gay resort

Augusta has a Gay resort called the Parliament of Augusta on Gordon Highway but we can't have a sex store on Gordon Highway for straight people/couples? Augusta is so [filtered word] backwards!

deekster
24
Points
deekster 02/12/10 - 12:08 pm
0
0
"Man Boy Love" will be next.

"Man Boy Love" will be next. But hey, they will just be "hanging out". Anyway its good for downtown business. And Lord knows "money trumps God anyday". I think we need an "Adulterer's Pride Parade" which would bring out tens of thousands to voice their "rights". Move over Almighty God, Sin is a money maker. In your face God. You made us gay. You created sin. You created Adam and Eve, then Adam and Steve.

wcr250
71
Points
wcr250 02/12/10 - 12:09 pm
0
0
What a slimy buch and all who

What a slimy buch and all who support this. Disgraceful.
Liberals support htis perverted lifestyle.

alleycat
97
Points
alleycat 02/12/10 - 12:28 pm
0
0
Sick and perverted is what it

Sick and perverted is what it is ! We are not talking Christmas Parade folks. What kind of normal person with morals would want to FLAUNT
( to parade or display oneself conspicuously, defiantly, or boldly) their sexual perversion for all to see and want people to bring the kids too. If you are gay go live your life but don't ask for people to bring the kids so you can try to teach them something immoral ..Next sex offenders will want their parade. It isn't any different. Both are trying to convince our children that wrong is right. I say hell NO ! Stay away from my kids and grandkids. As it is plain for all to see gays were not satisfied just coming out of the closet OH NO they want your kids.. People need to do everything they can to stop this. If you acted in your home with others in front of your children like they act Defacs would be called ..

alleycat
97
Points
alleycat 02/12/10 - 12:33 pm
0
0
Is there any local business

Is there any local business sponsoring this crap ?

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 02/12/10 - 12:34 pm
0
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Come on people.. I've seen

Come on people.. I've seen more gyrating and scantily clad people in some of the local high school marching bands at the Christmas parades, than at a gay pride parade. They have been holding these events in Atlanta and Savannah for years with none of the problems some of you are predicting. I was in Atlanta few years ago when they had their gay pride parade. There was nothing vulgar about it. Get out of the 1940s people and let Augusta join the 21st century. The fact is just about all of you posting these nasty comments on here most likely have a gay relative or close friend whether you know it or now... would you call them these types of names?

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