Two gay men were denied entry into a gay pride parade in Charlotte, N.C., simply because they support President Donald Trump.
The group hosting the parade, Charlotte Pride, rejected a request from Brian Talbert and one of his gay friends for a float at the event that is scheduled to take place Aug. 26 and 27. Talbert, a leader of the group known as “Gays for Trump,” found out via email May 16 that his float application was denied, according to Fox 46.
“Dear Gays for Trump: This message is to confirm that we have received your application for entry in the 2017 Charlotte Pride Parade,” the email reads. “Unfortunately, we are not able to approve your application. Thank you, Charlotte Pride Parade Team.”
Talbert was disappointed that he and his friend were excluded from the parade and lamented that he would miss the opportunity to display his patriotism.
“It was going to be fun. We wanted to be energetic,” he told Fox 46. “We wanted to show that we are Americans, love our country and our president. We wanted to be there to celebrate gay pride.”
Charlotte Pride, an organization that boasts “inclusive” and “dynamic” values, released a statement affirming their right to deny participation in the event.
“Charlotte Pride reserves the right to decline participation at our events to groups or organizations which do not reflect the mission, vision and values of our organization, as is acknowledged in our parade rules and regulations by all groups at the time of their parade application,” the statement to Fox 46 reads. “In the past, we have made similar decisions to decline participation from other organizations espousing anti-LGBTQ religious or public policy stances.”
Charlotte Pride’s refusal to affiliate itself with Gays for Trump based on differing values becomes even more perplexing when considering the fact that it partnered with a local Catholic Church last summer. In its “Annual Mass of Celebration for the LGBT Community,” the organization welcomed everyone to St. Peter’s Catholic Church of Charlotte to celebrate “LGBTQ Catholics, their Friends and Families.”
Charlotte Pride did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding this discrepancy.
In light of his rejection, Talbert questioned the pride group’s commitment to tolerance.
“For a group of people to claim to want tolerance, acceptance, and give it to every single person you can imagine to give it to, for them to sit back and judge me for exercising my right as an American to choose my leader without judgment is hypocritical,” he said.
Talbert expressed his desire to sue Charlotte Pride for discrimination and is raising funds via a GoFundMe campaign called ‘Deplorable Pride.’ He has raised over $3,000 in less than two days.
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