Political tone takes over annual Pride parade - New York News

Political tone takes over annual Pride parade

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

On Sunday morning, more than 100,000 people packed downtown streets for the annual Pride parade, but while the event has always been a rallying call for gay rights, this year's events took on a more political tone.

"We're doing everything today, you'll see canvassers all over downtown Minneapolis," said Minnesotans United's Jake Loesch. "If we don't catch them in the park, we'll catch them downtown."

Hundreds of volunteers campaigned against a constitutional referendum defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

"Pride draws more than just LGBT Minnesotans," Loesch said. "It draws a lot of straight allies and a lot of people who are just concerned about freedom to marry."

But while soliciting a ‘no' vote at Pride might seem like preaching to the choir, there were also plenty of church-goers, including Cathie and Steve Wilson, who oppose the marriage amendment.

"I think that we know there are a lot of Catholics and a lot of other people of faith who feel very conflicted about this," Wilson said. "And it's not a surprise because their conscience is telling them to do one thing and their Bishop is telling them to do another."

The group backing the amendment, Minnesota for Marriage," let the Pride organizers have their day, declining to comment on the ‘vote no' effort.

Christina Kendrick said she hopes Minnesota will send a message to the rest of the county, that her home state won't let the majority influence the rights of a few.

"We've been together for ten years," she said. "We have a lot to loose – our home and kids, all kinds of stuff. We've got a lot to lose with it."

This year marks the 40th anniversary for the Twin Cities Pride festival – one of the oldest in the country.

And while Minnesota for Marriage took a back seat today, starting Tuesday they will begin a boycott against General Mills because the company has publicly opposed the marriage amendment.

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