Denver, it’s time to speak up.
The GLBT Community Center of Colorado issued a call to action for the 43rd Annual Denver PrideFest celebration with the announcement of the theme, “Say it Loud, Say it Proud.” It has become more of a rallying cry in the last few days, following Monday’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of a Lakewood baker who refused to create a wedding cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins. Although the decision was narrow, it was nonetheless unsettling for gay rights activists and supporters who believe the ruling didn’t answer a larger question — can businesses discriminate against gay men and lesbians based on First Amendment rights?
This year’s festival will celebrate empowerment and honor Craig and Mullins, who spent the last five years advocating for equality for the LGBT community and will serve as the 2018 Coors Light PrideFest Parade grand marshals on Sunday, June 17.
“Charlie and David have endured an incredible battle standing up for their civil rights. We wanted to recognize their determination and acknowledge that this year has been a year of activism on many fronts, for many people,” said Debra Pollock, CEO of The Center.
“Our community is strongest when we’re the loudest, when we come together and speak with many voices. We all deserve equal access to businesses, bathrooms, housing, and jobs. Say it loud, say it proud.” – Charlie Craig
The Center has been hosting PrideFest for four decades, growing the event from a grassroots celebration to one of the largest LGBT celebrations in the nation, featuring more than 200 vendors, expecting to draw more than 350,000 people and according to the festival — $25 million in economic impact for the city of Denver. It is also the largest fundraiser for The Center, which serves more than 47,000 people annually with programs for LGBT youth, seniors, Colorado’s transgender community, and training and legal programs. The PrideFest Parade is a cornerstone of the event, drawing 200 entries this year, representing a wide array of community groups, businesses and politicians. The parade starts off from Cheesman Park at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 17 and travels to Civic Center via Colfax Avenue.
Denver PrideFest runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 17.