Birmingham, Ala. Mayor Larry Langford has denied a request by the board of Central Alabama Pride to issue a city wide proclamation marking the city’s annual gay pride celebration.
Organizers of the event sent an Email to the mayor’s office requesting the proclamation and received a reply on Wednesday. The response from the mayor is as follows:
“I have received your request for a proclamation celebrating Gay Pride Week. While I do not personally ascribe to any form of discrimination, I believe it is not the role of local governments to condone, endorse or support the personal lifestyle choices of its citizens.”
The proclamation has usually been issued by the mayor’s office each year to be printed in the guide handed out to pride participants. Each year the Pride Parade marches through the center of Five Points South, a commercial square in downtown. The parade route is usually decorated with gay pride flags and banners. Not so this year, according to the mayor. Langford also denied the pride board’s request to hang the banners this year. CAP board President Jonathan Quinn said that the organization is moving forward cautiously. “The pride board is meeting with the mayor and then moving forward,” Quinn said.
A bulletin posted on MySpace on Friday night alleged that Saturday’s Birmingham News will quote the mayor as saying that the parade itself will not be allowed to happen. The parade, scheduled for June 7 will be the organizations 20th annual gay pride parade.
The mayor says he will deny a parade permit to Central Alabama Pride in Saturday’s Birmingham News.
From the article:
Langford said he turned down the requests this week from Central Alabama Pride because it is inappropriate for government to endorse a lifestyle. Pride Week is next month and often includes a parade on Southside and other events.
“My policy is don’t ask because it’s not my business, and don’t put me in the position to make it my business,” Langford said Friday. “I don’t condone it, but I also am not sitting in judgment on anyone.”