Time Out Youth staffed a booth and provided face painting for children.
Time Out Youth staffed a booth and provided face painting for children.

Thousands of LGBT and straight ally community members from across the Carolinas converged Saturday on Uptown’s Gateway Village for the annual Pride Charlotte festival. Despite vocal protests from a local anti-LGBT religious organization, the event was a success, organizers say.

Vendors included sponsoring businesses like Food Lion, Bank of America and Scorpios, as well as non-profit organizations and LGBT-owned businesses. Entertainment from local, regional and national performers took two stages and a kids’ area with face painting and story telling allowed LGBT parents to spend quality time with their children.

Police estimates put the day’s attendance at 12,000-15,000, and The Charlotte Observer reported that more than 500 individuals participated in the rival “God Has a Better Way” worship and prayer protest rally across the street.

Although the protest rally was primarily for worship, protesters wearing red shirts with the “God Has a Better Way” website address did enter the festival and speak with Pride participants and community members. Pride Charlotte’s “Partners in Peace” volunteers were on hand to help festival-goers and protesters from avoiding conflict.

In a prepared statement to the media, protest organizer Dr. Michael Brown said his rally’s goals were two-fold: “We say ‘Enough is enough’ to the destructive goals of gay activism, and we say to the GLBT community, ‘Jesus loves you and God has a better way!'”

View more Pride Charlotte photos and be sure to pick up Q-Notes‘ Aug. 8 print issue for more on Pride Charlotte.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

4 replies on “Over 10,000 attend Pride Charlotte”

  1. Thank you to EVERYONE who made Pride Charlotte 2009 a success, including attendees, volunteers, vendors, speakers, performers, sponsors. We hope you had a great time.

  2. My first Pride was an AWESOME experience! Already looking forward to next year’s as well as events throughout the year. Especially excited about the Great Nationwide Kiss-In on August 15th!

  3. “If god didn’t make homosexuals, there would not be any!”

    “God save us from your followers” Giant rainbow on the side or something.

    More tshirt ideas for whenever really. and my Favorite

    “God made amanda and eve too”

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