After church group excludes LGBTQ floats, City of Taylor organizes its own holiday parade
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The City of Taylor will hold its own holiday parade this year, parting ways with the Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance over new requirements for parade entries.
The rules state entries must be "consistent with traditional biblical and family values" — a decision many felt excluded the city's LGBTQ community.
"The City of Taylor has worked very hard over the last several years to be inclusive and to be open to diversity," Stacey Osborne, the city's communications director, told KUT. "And we felt that the best way to show that we are keeping that commitment is by having a parade that would be open to everyone in the city and available for everyone to participate."
In 2021, the city hosted Williamson County's first-ever in-person Pride event.
The Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance's updated parade requirements come after Taylor Pride, an organization that supports the gay community, was given a spot in last year's parade. In a Facebook post, the Christian group called Taylor Pride's entry in the parade an "unfortunate oversight." It claimed the float, which included drag performers, contradicted the organization's biblical beliefs.
In response, the City of Taylor, which has previously been a co-sponsor, announced it would organize its own holiday parade — set to take place Saturday immediately after the Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance's event.
Osborne said the Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance "made it clear that they were going to be a little more exclusive with their parade and only include certain people in it."
Denise Rodgers, the president of Taylor Pride, called the organization's entry requirements a "direct attack" on the city's LGBTQ community.
"We support adults and youth alike in our community … and a lot of children are not only affiliated with us, but excited about our events and when we participate in events," Rodgers told KUT. "So, for those children to be told they really aren’t valid or worthy of a holiday or holiday celebration was just absolutely not OK with us, and we knew we needed to take a stand.”
Rodgers said Taylor Pride has already been granted entry into the city's "Very Merry Holiday Parade" and plans to have drag performers at the event.
"We hope people don’t avoid coming to the parade. We hope that they do show up and show their support," she said.