Reaction to gay march is muted

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Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles, not Mayor Deke Copenhaver, will welcome revelers to the city Saturday at this year's gay rights march and festival.

Isaac Kelly, the president of Augusta Pride Inc., shouts while holding hands with his partner at the start of last year's gay pride parade in Augusta.   File/Staff
File/Staff
Isaac Kelly, the president of Augusta Pride Inc., shouts while holding hands with his partner at the start of last year's gay pride parade in Augusta.

"I've been asked to do it, and I told them I would," Bowles said.

The event has crept under the radar this year, with Augusta Pride President Isaac Kelly easily obtaining the parade permit that last year prompted Copenhaver to seek a legal opinion on whether he had to approve the event.

Copenhaver, who worked a short day Friday and did not return calls, has issued to Kelly an official welcome and proclamation that Saturday is Augusta Pride Day.

The mayor's office has not received the dozens of letters, e-mails and phone calls from area religious groups in opposition to last year's event that Copenhaver cited when he sought the legal opinion.

"We haven't received anything, yet," said Copenhaver's secretary, Natasha McFarley, noting that the city also has listed the event on its Web site.

Administrator Fred Russell said he hadn't heard any feedback on the event either.

"I got one call about the bike race disturbing the whole world, but that's it," Russell said. The National Criterium Championships will go on downtown Friday.

Augusta Pride has marketed the parade and daylong festival in cities around the region, partnered with six hotels and expects far more than the 4,000 visitors who attended last year's event, Kelly said. It was the first gay festival held in the city since the 1990s.

The parade has 20 floats signed up and the festival at Augusta Common has more than 80 vendors, Kelly said. Headline performers include dance music star Kristine W. and longtime Madonna backup singer Niki Haris.

Bowles, whose oldest brother Ricky died of AIDS in the mid-1980s, is involved in HIV awareness and prevention.

"I had a brother who was gay and I have many gay friends," Bowles said. "I'm sure there are those people who turn their noses up and say, 'Why is he going there?' Those aren't my friends, and that's their prerogative."

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PhiloPublius
386
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PhiloPublius 06/18/11 - 06:10 pm
0
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It just seems like there

It just seems like there ought to be better things to celebrate. Freedom, millitary vets, or local sports heroes.

A person's lifestyle is their choice, but the blunt in-your-face flaunting these people do is more offensive to me than any any anti-gay demonstration is to them. I guarantee that if I were to organize a "Straight Pride" parade, I would be kicked out of town and labeled a hatemonger. Tell me, where is the equality in that?

God help us all.

Dixieman
17627
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Dixieman 06/18/11 - 07:35 pm
0
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I will stand along the parade

I will stand along the parade route and taunt any guy whose shoes do not match his purse!

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 06/18/11 - 09:28 pm
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Kudos to Joe. The local

Kudos to Joe. The local Libertarians will have a float (my wifes drop top) and a booth. Come check us out. We will also stand for the rights of those protesting this. Freedom of speech goes both ways.

soldout
1283
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soldout 06/18/11 - 10:44 pm
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plain and simple it is

plain and simple it is promoting sin. It is an indicator of a society with no moral compass. It is also a sign of end times. We wonder why government is so messed up but it is easy to understand when folks can't even tell right from wrong on a sexual sin level. These foks just need Jesus and they would make the choice not to do a gay sin. None of them are gay but simply choose to do this. They created the aids problem and everyone else is supposed to help them fix it. The Bible says it is a sin done to their own body and the result of sin is death. They need a savior; not a parade. Jesus died so they wouldn't have to live this way but they choose to pay the price for their own sin instead of acepting the price He paid for their sin. It is a poor choice with a bad future and nothing to celebrate.

paulbaughman28
215
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paulbaughman28 06/18/11 - 11:40 pm
0
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Wow.... yes, soldout, THAT is

Wow.... yes, soldout, THAT is what's wrong with the government, gays. Nothing else whatsoever.

Let them have a parade. It may generate some cash for the city, who knows?

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 06/19/11 - 12:09 am
0
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Did ya'll feel the same about

Did ya'll feel the same about blacks when they were marching and parading, looking for recognition as equals? Open your minds and realize that though you abhor the actual sexual actions(acts) of homosexuals (I do too); their desires and behaviors are perfectly normal to them. It is a biological accident they are that way, but "it is what it is". They are born that way, just like anyone else that is different from the "norm" at birth. Get over your bigotry, bias, and fear and realize there are homosexuals all around you and they desire to do nothing more than live their lives in peace and happiness.

cruiser93
270
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cruiser93 06/19/11 - 03:43 am
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I'm all for it

I'm all for it PhiloPublius... let's organize a STRAIGHT Pride Day/Parade !!!
Taylor B is right... freedom of speech goes (or should go) both ways.
Somehow though, I get the feeling that we are the minority these days. Hmmm.... wasn't Jesus Christ in the minority ? Yep, our Lord and Savior was shunned , ridiculed and murdered for telling the "majority" that they were sinning. Looks like history IS repeating itself.... every day.

Dixieman
17627
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Dixieman 06/19/11 - 04:49 am
0
0
My reaction today

My reaction today is...overwhelming indifference.

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 06/19/11 - 06:05 am
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if augusta's mayor serves as
Unpublished

if augusta's mayor serves as a ceremonial figurehead but doesn't show up to parades, i'm confused. this is the second year in a row mayor deke's missed this event if i'm not mistaken. the role of ribbon-cutting and smiling is most important or worthwhile when supporting people of our city who need support. and to think he used to have so much pride in it- i remember asking him if he'd been out to cherry tree crossing after what our local media called the riot and others called the shooting of justin elmore. deke said yeah, he'd gone out there... the mlk day parade went right past it.

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 06/19/11 - 06:24 am
0
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Gays get a pride march. Let
Unpublished

Gays get a pride march. Let Christians ask for a pride march, and watch the liberal hate groups denounce it and scream about the separation of church and state. Makes me want to puke!

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 06/19/11 - 06:53 am
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southernguy, but would the
Unpublished

southernguy, but would the mayor go? p.s. broad street loses a lane every sunday to church traffic. cops throughout the county wave church people into traffic. every sunday is a christian parade. we have prayers, not to just any god, but to jesus before every commission meeting. are you sure everyone freaks out as much as you?

Pay What U Owe
5
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Pay What U Owe 06/19/11 - 06:54 am
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SG08, I will take that bet

SG08,

I will take that bet and call you out. Last year, gays marched and called for peace, tolerance, acceptance, equality and love. No one denounced anyone or any group. No one was arrested, no one got naked, no one said anything ugly except the 4 people who showed up to protest.

I will bet that if Christians staged a march and festival proclaiming the Love of God, the grace of Christ and the abundant life He has in store for all of us, no one would object at all. Seperation of Church and State has never come up and it speaks to the cowardice of your ilk that you need to hide behind it.

The problem is that too many supposed Xians speak little of Christ's teaching and spend all their time poring over Old Testament social regulations looking for reasons to feel superior about themselves. They end up bashing gays, athiests, Muslims, blacks, and anyone else who doesn't fit their read of the Bible. You may fit that group. If you do, I got news for you. When you sit before the Throne of Judgement for what you have done to God's children, you'll be the one crying for seperation of church and state.

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 06/19/11 - 06:59 am
0
0
"The event has crept under

"The event has crept under the radar this year, with Augusta Pride President Isaac Kelly easily obtaining the parade permit"

"The mayor's office has not received the dozens of letters, e-mails and phone calls from area religious groups in opposition to last year's event that Copenhaver cited when he sought the legal opinion."

Could this possibly be because is been kept a low profile up until now. I haven't seen anything in the paper publicizing the days event and parade.

I tend to agree with Philo, a person's sexual preference is their business but why do we have to have a parade to celebrate it. I disagree with calling it Augusta Pride Day also because there are some in Augusta who aren't very proud of this day.

Pay What U Owe
5
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Pay What U Owe 06/19/11 - 07:06 am
0
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"Could this possibly be

"Could this possibly be because is been kept a low profile up until now. I haven't seen anything in the paper publicizing the days event and parade."

This is a very important point. The answer is "no". Parade permits are required months in advance and are public record. Last year the Chronicle jumped all over it. This year that did not choose to report it. Money has been raised year round with major sponsors including people like Verizon, Mercedes, Wells Fargo, etc, which make decisions a year in advance. Events have been held around town to raise awareness and money to host the event. Two key points are revealed in your note:

1 - The Chronicle is not a real newspaper, reporting on what happens in the world. It writes articles that fit it's slanted political view of the world. It is not journalism in any meaningful sense of the word.

2 - People like you dont know because you have been getting all your info, evidently, from this non-newspaper. You probably watch Faux News too. Your ignorance, either willful or not, stems from a lack of access to info. You then assume because you don't know, that it does not exist or is "under the radar".

I hope you are happy. Ignorance, as they say, is bliss.

justthefacts
25501
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justthefacts 06/19/11 - 07:10 am
0
0
This parade or any parade of

This parade or any parade of this type is fine by me, but I wonder the neccessity. What if all the time, effort, man hours and tax dollars spent to organize and execute a venture of this type were instead spent to address the real problems, in this case, maybe AIDS. Wouldn't that be better?

Buckeye
2
Points
Buckeye 06/19/11 - 07:20 am
0
0
I can't wait. This year will

I can't wait. This year will be bigger and better than last year. And I hope that those of u that keep preaching about a god that could punish true love between two grown adults will all stay home again this year. Pride is not about being gay....it's about being proud of yourself and who you are regardless of what other people say. Have a Christian pride day, have an atheist pride day, have a republican pride day. That is the great thing about living in America, we are free to be whatever we want...and be proud of it.

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 06/19/11 - 07:23 am
0
0
Wow, pay what you owe,

Wow, pay what you owe, someone makes a simple comment and you go into attack mode.

Just to clarify, I haven't seen it advertised on any local TV stations or radio stations either. What does Fox News have to do with this.....it's not a local TV station so why assume I watch Fox News.....oh, I get it...it's because of my moniker, you just assume all Christians watch Fox News, read the AC, and are ignorant.

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 06/19/11 - 07:26 am
0
0
"Have a Christian pride day,

"Have a Christian pride day, have an atheist pride day, have a republican pride day. "

Buckeye, that would be fine if they caled it Homosexual Pride Day but they don't, they call it Augusta Pride Day which means saying all of Augusta is proud of this day, and many are not proud of a celebration of homosexuality.

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 06/19/11 - 07:41 am
0
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Well seeing how the AC jumped

Well seeing how the AC jumped all over it last year (according to Administrator Fred Russell) and hasn't this year, seems to me this means it's been "kept under the radar". I do not doubt this event raises a lot of money to hold the event, and probably figure a low profile who keep some of the protesters to a minimum this year. I guess you feel the same about local TV and radio stations also. Have they been promoting this event or are they all as ignorant as you say AC is.

soldout
1283
Points
soldout 06/19/11 - 07:43 am
0
0
If you live by the Word you

If you live by the Word you get the results of the Word. If you live by the World you get the results of the World. Jesus told sinners to sin no more. The Bible says pride is the cause of all sin. Choosing between living for self now or living for the creator of the universe seems like an easy choice for many folks. Sin is pleasure for a season but those seasons do end.

Pay What U Owe
5
Points
Pay What U Owe 06/19/11 - 07:45 am
0
0
You're missing the point. If

You're missing the point. If the AC is "keeping it under the radar" does not mean that it is. If you read the Metro or use any social media, you learn about all kinds of things. For instance, I just Googled it and found a TV ad. When it aired, who knows?

verbanellie
0
Points
verbanellie 06/19/11 - 07:52 am
0
0
If this group wants to just

If this group wants to just live in peace & happiness why the parade ? The moniker "Augusta Pride" is inappropriate and misleading ? Why don't they call it what it is (whatever that is).

azzedine
0
Points
azzedine 06/19/11 - 07:54 am
0
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For all those who are

For all those who are concerned abount other people's so-called "morality". Remember everyone has to answer to his or her own God. I can't atone for anyone else's sins but mine. What you believe is your own business.
That said, let the parade and festivites happen. They are good for the economy. "Pride" festivals have been known to generate tens of millions of dollars for the local economies they've been held in. You can google the stats.
Let the attendees have their day and let the local business owners who welcome participants make their money.
If you don't agree with this event, stay home. (It's just like a TV show you don't like or agree with - you can always turn it off or change the channel.)

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 06/19/11 - 07:58 am
0
0
"Portico Publications

"Portico Publications announced it would close Metro Spirit and Metro Parent, saying sustained financial performance had eluded the publications. The publication's final issue was published Wednesday." article publish March 2, 2011

Well guess I couldn't get the information from the "Metro Spirit" now could I since it stop publication according to this article in the AC.

Pay What U Owe
5
Points
Pay What U Owe 06/19/11 - 08:03 am
0
0
Metro Spirit as been back

Metro Spirit as been back since April. I saw an ad for the Pride thing in their last week. Again, they (the AC) are keeping you ignorant. Imagine what else you don't know.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 06/19/11 - 08:07 am
0
0
I guess if I was interested

I guess if I was interested in homosexuality and Augusta's Pride Day then I would know where to look. Since it's not a part of my life, like you said "ignorance is bliss".

hounddog
0
Points
hounddog 06/19/11 - 08:23 am
0
0
‘2 - People like you dont
Unpublished

‘2 - People like you dont know because you have been getting all your info, evidently, from this non-newspaper.’
I receive emails from TheColorOfChange, very interesting stuff.

iLove
626
Points
iLove 06/19/11 - 08:24 am
0
0
Vito 45 said "Did ya'll feel
Unpublished

Vito 45 said "Did ya'll feel the same about blacks when they were marching and parading, looking for recognition as equals?"

This REALLY ticks me off! How DARE you comapre the struggle (civil rights of black peopl) to YOUR LIFE STYLE CHOICE of BEING GAY???

Blacks didn't choose to be black. You choose to DO GAY THINGS. . .there is a big difference.

Why did black people have to go looking for recognition?!? Were they NOT EQUAL ENOUGH, seeing as they ARE HUMANS!

Go study history my dude or dudette.

momster59
0
Points
momster59 06/19/11 - 08:26 am
0
0
The Parade last year was not

The Parade last year was not just about homosexuals. People of all sexual orientations - hetero, homo, bi, transgender walked together in the parade. The festival was a fun, peaceful, family event of people of all races and orientations and lifestyles. Several churches had booths set up in the commons. The only ugliness of the entire day was the guys who were carrying their hate signs and cussing at people, screaming at people and condemning everyone to Hell. No one bothered those four, the people who spoke to them were very rational. They left after the parade and did not stay for the Festival, which I'm sure helped to make it such a wonderful event.

I plan on attending again this year and look forward to it being an even better event than last year. I am pretty sure that the few that have stated they don't like the idea don't live downtown so I don't see where it is an issue. Here's a suggestion. Don't attend - problem solved. Wow, that was easy.

Buckeye
2
Points
Buckeye 06/19/11 - 08:31 am
0
0
Being gay is a choice?? Since

Being gay is a choice?? Since when? When I got picked on in school....when I got shunned by my family...when I get yelled at and told I am going to hell...that is all because I choose it? I want it? You don't choose love my friend.

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