Sunday, June 04, 2000

City's first gay pride parade scheduled

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati's first gay pride parade and rally since 1995 is scheduled for next Sunday.

Chris Good
        Pride day events will begin with a rally at 11 a.m. at the Burnet Woods gazebo in Clifton. The Cincinnati Gay Pride Parade will start an hour later and end in Northside at Hoffner Park.

        The park will be the site of a festival and picnic that will continue through the afternoon. There will be an entertainment stage and food and information booths.

        “We want this to be a positive response to all the bad stuff the media reports,” said Chris Good, 35, a Westwood man who leads the parade committee.

• What: Cincinnati Gay Pride Parade and Rally.
• When: 11 a.m. June 11. Parade begins at noon. Festival 1-5 p.m.
• Where: Rally at the Burnet Woods gazebo, Clifton. Featured speakers will be Dr. Shane Que Hee, a co-founder of Stonewall Cincinnati and professor at the University of California at Los Angeles; Dr. John Maddux, professor at the University of Cincinnati; and Wendy Mataya of Milwaukee, a founder of Queer Nation in Washington, D.C. Parade will follow 1.8-mile route from Burnet Woods on Ludlow Avenue, across Ludlow Viaduct and onto Hamilton Avenue in Northside, ending at Hoffner Park.
• Miscellaneous: A dozen floats are expected. Marchers pay nothing to participate.
• Festival: 1-5 p.m. at Hoffner Park, Northside, Hamilton Avenue and Blue Rock Road. A stage show — featuring musicians, poets and comedians — will end at 4 p.m.
        “We're trying to create a forum where all people in the community can walk,” added Mr. Good, a University of Cincinnati graduate who works as a pharmacist.

        The Cincinnati GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) Pride Parade Committee began meeting last July. Members of two dozen groups will march, and another dozen organizations are preparing floats.

        More than $2,500 was raised to obtain parade and park permits and liability insurance.

        Both the 1995 and 2000 parades have been held under what gay advocates call “the cloud” of Issue 3. Issue 3 is the charter amendment passed by 56,000 Cincinnati voters in November 1993 that prohibits the city from adopting any laws protecting gays and lesbians.

        It set off a court battle that ended in 1998 when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the charter amendment to stand.

        “After Issue 3, we've been beaten down so bad that we need a morale boost,” said Kelly Gorth, 36, of Oakley, a member of the parade committee. “I hope this can help us come together as a community and move forward.”


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