Tennessee City’s Vibrant Pride Celebration in 2023 Stands Out

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Heightened Security and Tensions at Pride Festival in Franklin, Tennessee

As the city of Franklin, Tennessee held its local Pride festival, security measures were heightened to ensure the safety of attendees. This comes as right-wing activists across the country have targeted Pride celebrations, claiming they pose a threat to children.

Pride Festival Approval Amid Controversy

Franklin Mayor Ken Moore broke a tie in favor of the festival, allowing the 2023 Pride event to proceed. This decision followed a heated debate over drag queens performing in front of children the previous year, leading to a deadlock in the city’s governing body.

Increased Pressure on LGBTQ Rights

As conservative-led states have pushed for legislation targeting LGBTQ rights and transition care for transgender minors, Pride Month faces increasing challenges. Brands such as Bud Light have faced boycotts, while Target reduced the prominence of its annual Pride collection in stores after employees were threatened.

Legal Challenges and Threats Against Pride Events

City officials across the US have rebuked proclamations recognizing Pride Month or denied permission for the rainbow Pride flag to fly on municipal property. A Kansas man was recently indicted on federal charges after posting online threats against Nashville Pride, while Memphis Pride Fest continued with a large lineup of drag performers, despite a Tennessee law targeting such performances.

Franklin: A City Grappling with Change

Franklin, a city with deep Christian and conservative roots, is experiencing a period of fast-paced economic growth and navigating shifts in diversity and civil rights. The area’s demographic changes and population shifts, spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, have driven intense conflict over the Pride festival, with a mix of liberal and conservative newcomers arriving in the city.

Facing Opposition, Pride Festival Proceeds

Despite controversy, Franklin’s Pride festival went ahead, attracting nearly 7,000 visitors. Protests were relatively quiet, with only seven people asked to leave and one person arrested for refusing to do so. The event provided a safe space for LGBTQ individuals, allowing them to celebrate their identities and connect with others in the community.

Read More of this Story at www.nytimes.com – 2023-06-24 21:42:28

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