Mon, Jun 15, 2015 - Page 7 News List

Indianapolis’ LGBT parade attracts tens of thousands

AP, INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana

Tens of thousands of people on Saturday converged on Indianapolis for an annual parade to celebrate the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) community only months after a stinging debate over Indiana’s new religious objections law.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, who served as grand marshal of the Cadillac Barbie IN Pride Parade, joined his wife, Winnie, in waving from the back of a streetcar to thousands of cheering people who lined the parade route.

The Republican mayor was invited to serve as grand marshal after he spoke out against Indiana’s religious objections law, which critics called discriminatory against the LGBT community.

Tami Meyers, a 41-year-old nurse, traveled from Huntington in northern Indiana to see the parade with friends and cheer on parade participants, some of whom rode atop colorful floats, waving rainbow flags that are a symbol of LGBT pride.

Among the many banners carried by those marching in the parade was one which read “God Loves You. No Exceptions” and provoked cheers and whistles of support as it was carried along the parade route.

Meyers, who is lesbian, said she was stunned when she heard about the religious objections law Republican Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed in March.

Although lawmakers eventually clarified that law after some companies banned travel to the state and some conventions threatened to cancel, she said the law had harmed Indiana’s image.

Saturday’s parade was the culmination of the Circle City IN Pride Festival, which featured 16 events over nine days.

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