OCR Streetview: Politicians, Corporate Sponsors Redefine Equality at Columbus Pride Parade


The Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, Ed Fitzgerald, shook my hand on High Street in Columbus at the June 21st “Pride” parade honoring LGBT lifestyles.

Eager to show support for what many Ohioans consider radical moral upheaval, Fitzgerald and numerous supporters in “Fitzgerald for Governor” T-shirts worked the crowd — on both sides of the street, so to speak.

While they were shaking hands, someone was handing me a packet with two condoms from the AIDS Resource Center of Ohio, a group presumably targeting the reduction of HIV cases (outside of discouraging behaviors that spread the infection).

Not having an immediate use for a condom — let alone two — right there on High Street at that particular moment, I returned to taking inventory of the candidates courting the votes of thousands of observers and participants. Attorney General candidate David Pepper was on hand, along with John Patrick Carney for state auditor; candidates for U.S. Congress Scott Wharton and Bob Hart; state representative candidates Heather Bishoff, Mike Stinziano, and David Leland; Columbus city council candidate Andrew Ginther; and Democrat candidates for judge Chris Brown, Tom Hayes, and William Woods, along with Republicans Valoria Hoover and Fred Nelson. Democrat Jennifer Brunner, running for judge, wore a tie-dyed rainbow shirt while smiling and waving from atop her convertible.

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Rainbow–clad floats featured scantily-attired, proud gay and lesbian advocates, drag queens and gyrating pole dancers.They followed the opening ceremonial entries, where three flags were carried in tandem: the Stars and Stripes, the Ohio flag, and a rainbow flag. Following the flags was a group touting equality for Boy Scouts, presumably wanting adult homosexual males to be allowed to be Scoutmasters, since boys themselves can now be openly homosexual within their troops.

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The state’s foremost homosexual group, Equality Ohio, predictably had one of the larger contingents of  marchers.

What may not have been expected, however, is the reaction of one little girl among them who stood agape at the tight, revealing Speedo attire of the grown man next to her. In fact the parade was full of children, who probably had little say in being hauled along with a parent or caretaker to celebrate LGBT interests and agendas.

Nor was equality and tolerance shown for a brave African-American lady who stepped out in front of the parade, only to be “escorted” to the sidewalk. Clad in white, she held a cross high above her head and wore a T-shirt reading, “Jesus Died for Our Sins.” She was last seen receiving a stern lecture by a group of diversity proponents.

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Businesses and retailers marched in abundance and not always in the best of taste. An enthusiastic male was astride a large foil phallic symbol on Chipotle’s “Big Buckin’ Burrito” float.

Kroger and Giant Eagle showed their support.

Discover Card had decided that it pays to be LGBT. Huntington Bank marchers, including several children, wore matching shirts. JP Morgan/Chase marchers held a sign reading “Just Be You” in rainbow colors, either unconscious or unbelieving that participants identifying as “transgender” were doing everything possible to not be “you.”

US Bank urged us to “Celebrate Pride,” while WesBanco encouraged people to “Embrace Diversity.”

Macy’s was highly visible with its red star balloon floating high above the crowd  Their employee group displayed a sign that read “Pride and Joy.”

Not to be outdone,JCPenney marchers told us that “Love is Love—Don’t Hide Your Pride.” Indeed, JCPenney has been quite visibly supporting the LGBT cause in recent years by featuring ads with two women and two men in parent roles. The retailer certainly isn’t hiding its “pride” for this radical cause.

Nationwide Insurance was on “Pride” members’ side, along with Battelle Memorial Institute’s Prism group, and American Electric Power’s Pride Partnership. Are these employees approving of diversity across the board, including a welcoming attitude toward fellow employees who support only man/woman marriage? One hopes.

Planned Parenthood marchers in pink won the award for tragic hypocrisy, carrying a sign that read, “Love Makes a Family. Planned Parenthood Supports All Families.” Exceptions probably would include those who reject aborting one of their members, families with strong pro-life values, those not intentionally motherless or fatherless, and those supporting authentic marriage.

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Teens from Kaleidoscope Youth Center marched with adult advisors. This center accepts kids twelve and over to drop in and hang out, learning all about gay and transgendered lifestyles, with no parents notified and no questions asked. Teachers and children from Columbus City Schools proudly walked the parade route as well, passing along this valuable lesson to an impressionable younger generation.

TransOhio featured a marcher who appeared to be a shirtless man. A close-up revealed the surgical scars below the breasts, indicating breast removal by this woman, who desperately wants to be considered a male.

Homosexual clubs from area schools, called “gay/straightalliances,” also made an appearance. Among those from the Wellington School, an elite private institution in Upper Arlington, was a sign-holding girl who appeared to be about ten years old. Another GSA from Chamberlain/ Devry also marched, with one adult holding the hand of a small boy.

The award for the bravest entry goes to “Muslims for Progressive Values.”

And then there were the churches. King Ave and Summit United Methodist churches were on hand, smiling, waving, singing “praise” songs. Signs read, “Who Would Jesus Hate?” and “The Lord is My Shepherd and He Knows I’m Gay.”  We were also told that, faulty theology notwithstanding, “Jesus Had Two Daddies and He Turned Out Okay.” The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America proudly displayed an enormous sign and many supporters. The First Unitarian Universalist Church sign bragged that their minister had been openly gay for 36 years. And of course the homosexually-centered Metropolitan Community Church was on hand.

Predictably, there were mockers of faith. A costumed “Jesus” riding with a nun on a motorcycle held a sign, “God Loves Everyone.” And they probably hope He also loves all behaviors, even though He’s already been pretty specific about that. Certainly no behavior, trivial or heinous, can outflank his forgiveness. Unfortunately, that’s a less popular message.

And nudity? There was a little, but less than in previous years. Does that mean gay advocates have cleaned up their act?

I wouldn’t bet on it. But I would close my account by pointing out the “redeeming social value” of these displays. Where did I put that again? Oh, that’s right. Next to my condoms.


Linda Harvey is president and founder of Mission America and host of a radio talk show 880 AM WRFD (Columbus). She holds a B.A. in English from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and has done graduate work at Miami, Ohio State University, and Trinity Lutheran Seminary. She is the wife of Tom Harvey and the mother of two children. They live in Columbus, Ohio.

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All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.



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