Pride Day in Hendersonville brings controversy

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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) – June is LGBTQ Pride Month, and the first ever Pride event will be happening in Hendersonville this weekend.

Hendersonville Mayor Barbara Volk issued a proclamation designating June 15 as Hendersonville Pride Day.

“It caused a great uproar. The city council is not in favor of what she did,” Laura Bannister said.

Bannister said some members of the clergy became upset about the proclamation and started protesting.

“I have no problem with those people. I’m sorry that they have a problem with me,” Bannister said.

Bannister is part of the LGBTQ Democrats in Hendersonville.

She said some faith leaders reached out to her to help with the Pride event. First Congregational Church United Church of Christ Pastor Karla Miller asked for the event to be non-partisan as well.

“We seek justice. We want to eradicate oppression, and we want to include everyone,” Miller said.

Event organizers said they are celebrating Pride so people can feel seen and accepted.

“I’ve heard from so many young people that they are afraid to come out to their families. They’re afraid to come out at school or church,” Bannister said.

“Our job is to spread love. No matter who you are, we are all created in God’s image,” Miller said.

Bannister said Pride will start a dialogue in her community.

“It’s gonna make it a little easier for them to say, ‘Mom I like that boy next to me at school,'” Bannister said.

There will be a movie night on Friday from 7-9 p.m. at The Center for Art and Inspiration. There will also be a picnic on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at the Patton Park Pavilion.

The LGBTQ Democrats said they have worked out a plan to provide security for the Pride events.

7News did reach out to some members of council who were upset about the proclamation, but they did not return our calls.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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