LGBTQ+ event at Idaho Botanical Garden draws protest and support

Pride Night at Winter Garden Aglow at the Idaho Botanical Garden is advertised as a family-friendly event.

Boise, Idaho — Pride Night at the Idaho Botanical Garden’s Winter Garden aGlow is billed as a family-friendly event hosted by Boise Pride, offering a chorus of Boise Gay Men and Women, complimentary holiday snacks, and memorable photos. I’m here. Holiday characters and various other festivals.

However, on social media, there have been calls from certain groups like the Idaho Liberty Dogs to protest the event, calling themselves “a grassroots group of citizens standing up for our constitutional rights and freedoms.” Their followers have been calling the gardens, and several comments on their Facebook page call for arming themselves and shaming parents who bring their children to the event.

“Call the Idaho Botanical Garden and request that they cancel their Drag Santa family-friendly event,” the Facebook page said. “We invite all concerned residents, parents, grandparents, and churches to attend from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on December 18 to oppose the sexualization of children and defend their innocence. Please stand up for me. has not come yet.”

There are other organizations that are stepping up to respond to protests and protest protests. Kimra Luna, co-founder of Idaho Abortion Rights, said her Liberty Dogs from Idaho have done this at numerous events over the past few years.

“Our plan of action is to do everything we can to keep groups who want to cause chaos out of the event,” Luna said. It will be a wall of light and wings that will keep people from meeting the hateful protesters.”

Luna plans to serve coffee, hot chocolate and hot cider to people, and says it will be a matter of love and unity to show the LGBTQ+ community is truly supported in Treasure Valley. rice field.

“I recognize that reproductive and abortion rights affect all groups,” Luna said.

Luna also said she encourages people to come down and stand together.

Erin Anderson, executive director of the Idaho Botanical Gardens, told KTVB the gardens are committed to creating a space of inclusiveness and fostering a culture of welcoming all people in Treasure Valley. .

“Boise Pride will provide evening events and programming, while the Garden will provide a space for groups to gather,” Anderson wrote in an email. We have been working with local authorities at the Boise Police Department, the City of Boise and the local FBI office to monitor the ongoing situation.”

Anderson also said in a call that the Garden will work with officials to ensure the event is safe for everyone coming.

The Boise Police Department told KTVB that it could not provide details of its security plan, but that it was in contact with the Idaho Botanical Garden about the event.

KTVB also contacted FBI Public Relations Specialist Sandra Barker.

“While I cannot comment on specific events,” Barker said in an email. “The FBI respects the right of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating and disrupting individuals who incite violence and engage in criminal activity.”

All of this can seem daunting to local members of the LGBTQ+ community and their supporters. Across the country, the number of protests and violence against pride, drag shows and general events has increased.

Just this year, there have been armed protests against LGBTQ+ events in Ohio, San Antonio, Florida and many other states. GLAAD, an LGBTQ+ media advocacy group, says more than 120 instances of his attacks and threats against drag performers and events were made in 2022.

ACLU Idaho communications strategist Jeremy Woodson said protests and rhetoric of this sort are part of a national trend regarding pride events at the Gardens. He added that groups like the Idaho Liberty Dogs use intimidation tactics to silence and censor speech they disagree with.

Woodson also said the event celebrates the holiday and brings joy to people in the community, and that people can always bring information and concerns to the Idaho ACLU. He said it was part of an attempt to erase LGBTQ+ people from existence.

“We have had a lot of discussions about how representation matters, but this event and situation is about visibility and people’s right to be who they really are,” Woodson said. I don’t know how people can disagree. At the end of the day, we belong and we are here.”

This is a statement repeatedly made by Jeffrey Parks, president of the Boise Gay Chorus and Boise Women’s Chorus. The choir is very happy to be participating in this event, he said, and their mission is to open minds through music.

“We think it’s important to show the world that LGBTQ+ people are here. We love our families and the holidays.”

Parks said he didn’t like dealing with protest issues, but felt the community was accustomed to dealing with bullies and at some point began ignoring derogatory comments. There is

This year, the chorus is very large, and Parks said he hopes to have 60 to 70 singers for the 30-minute performance. While they’re still figuring out which songs to sing, Parks said it’ll be a mix of religious, traditional, and good old carols.

“There is joy in singing for people. A lot of it is listening to other people and mixing your own voice,” Parks said. beautiful things. “

Pride Night at Winter Garden aGlow will be held on Sunday, December 18th at 6:30 PM. You can purchase tickets on his website at the Idaho Botanical Garden.

The Idaho Liberty Dogs have not responded to questions at the time of publication.

Check out our YouTube playlist for the latest news around Treasure Valley and the Gem State.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *