Gay pride parade

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Birmingham's Gay pride parade has been held in Five Points South annually since 1988 as part of 10 Days of Pride, sponsored by Central Alabama Pride. Though it begins at 8:30 in the evening, the parade is intended as a "family" event and displays considered inappropriate are barred from participating. The route follows 20th Street South from Highland Avenue to 7th Avenue South, then proceeds informally to the Lakeview Yacht Club for an after party.

The event made headlines in 2008 when Mayor Larry Langford publicly expressed his disapproval for the gay lifestyle and promised not to sign the resolution endorsing the parade. It was initially reported that he planned to deny a permit for the parade to take place. Later he clarified that he would not interfere in the permit process which is handled through the Birmingham Traffic Engineering Department and Birmingham Police Department, but that he would not allow banners for the event on city-owned lightposts. After a meeting with organizers, the banners were allowed.

Organizers estimated that over 1000 people participated, hundreds more than in previous years. Some said that Langford's public stance prompted their participation as a show of support.

References

  • Bryant, Joseph D. (May 25, 2008) "Birmingham gay pride parade on despite mayor's objections." Birmingham News
  • Wilstach, Nancy (June 8, 2008) "Actor among 1,000 to take part in Gay Pride parade." Birmingham News