The Associated Press reports:
A local LGBTQ pride group was excluded from a southwest Iowa town’s Labor Day parade, apparently by the city’s mayor, who cited safety concerns. Shenandoah Pride planned to have a small group walking with a banner and a drag performer riding in a convertible, with candy, popsicles and stickers to hand out in the parade in Essex, Iowa, said Jessa Bears, a founding member of the group.
Essex Mayor Calvin Kinney spearheaded the decision, with no motions or city council vote. Council Member Heather Thornton, who disagreed with the move, said “it was the mayor himself,” and added she was told he had the authority and didn’t need a council vote. Kinney did not immediately respond to an email from the AP regarding the decision. The AP’s phone calls to City Attorney Mahlon Sorensen went unanswered.
Cedar Rapids’ ABC affiliate reports:
The ACLU of Iowa sent the city attorney a letter Saturday urging the city to let the group participate. The letter included a Thursday email from the mayor that cited safety of the public and parade participants in not allowing “parade participants geared toward the promotion of, or opposition to, the politically charged topic of gender and/or sexual identification/orientation.” Thornton said she knew of no threats.
A local LGBTQ pride group was excluded from a southwest Iowa town’s Labor Day parade, apparently by the city’s mayor, who cited safety concerns. https://t.co/S8VpLQu0QE
— Des Moines Register (@DMRegister) September 4, 2023