Pride Parade Will Not Include Oklahoma GOP
OKLAHOMA CITY - The OKC pride parade will march down North Classen June 24. It’s a celebration of inclusion. But Oklahoma County Republicans are told, they won’t be included.
“It's sad,” said Oklahoma County Republican Party Chair Daren Ward. “I mean especially from that community."
Oklahoma County Republicans say they wanted to march in the parade to celebrate some of their gay members.
"And then the next thing I heard is no and then we're full and then I guess a big Facebook discussion blow up and here we are,” Ward said.
OKC Pride said it’s nothing personal, there just isn’t enough room. But they say there are safety concerns too.
"I found out we were full,” said Lori Honeycutt, President of OKC Pride. “So really anything other than that it was and then some security risks came up. And I understand those tempers and emotions."
"There’s no reason in fighting and hating each other about it,” said Ward. “We wanted to reach out to them because they felt that the Republicans at 23rd and Lincoln have done them injustice this year."
LGBTQ Advocate Troy Stevenson of Freedom Oklahoma believes this is more about politics than free space in the parade.
"I understand the fear in the community and I understand people that are cautious because they're afraid of what's happened in the past. But I saw this as an olive branch. I saw this as a first step,” said Stevenson. "There’s been a lot of progress made and it's just sad that we would stand in the way of showing that progress."
Oklahoma County Republicans say after the angry phone calls and e-mails they’ve gotten from the LGBTQ community, they’ll steer clear of the parade this year, but they would like to march next year.
OKC Pride said, that’s fine, but the group would like the county GOP to discuss its position on LGBTQ issues with the gay community first.