Things, they are a changin!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread
I am posting this from personal experience. When I moved to Bozeman, 30 y ago this wouldn't have happened. Sure there were gunfights in the street betwixt cowboys and cowboys and indians. Shows what Ted Turner can do to an area. ;<)
Posted because stuff disappears from the Bozeman paper.
Gays in Bozeman
Gays, lesbians take to streets for annual PRIDE gathering
06/09/02 By JOAN HAINES For the Chronicle Respond to this story Email this story to a friend
ERIN FREDIRICHS / CHRONICLE"Hey, hey, ho, ho, homophobia's got to go," people chanted as they walked briskly through the rain and snow along Mendenhall Street Saturday morning.
Temperatures hovered around 40 degrees and wet, sloppy snow turned to rain as an estimated 200 to 300 people braved the elements to march, chant and wave banners in support of the gay, lesbian and bisexual community's annual PRIDE Weekend.
"Only in Montana," said Jennie Meyer of Kalispell, commenting on the unspringlike weather.
PRIDE director Karl Olson of Helena was the only person wearing shorts.
"United we stand, hand in hand, everyone's equal in our great land," pronounced a sign carried in the parade, which went from Rouse Avenue and Mendenhall to the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture. The parade was led by a Bozeman Police car, and other squad cars dotted the route.
Back in 1997, the last time a statewide PRIDE event was held in Bozeman, several threats were made to the gay and lesbian community and police located SWAT teams on the roofs of downtown buildings to protect parade participants.
That kind of protection wasn't needed this year. Only one minor incident, a fight at a Bozeman bar early Saturday morning, was reported in connection with the PRIDE celebration, said Bozeman Police Officer Travis Munter.
The largest gathering of onlookers included five people clapping for paraders at Main Street and Tracy Avenue.
One same-sex couple, Chris Harbaugh and Dorea Fowler of Atlanta, Ga., were delighted to discover the parade. They were recently united in a commitment ceremony and spent their honeymoon in Yellowstone National Park. They learned about the celebration Friday, and were planning to fly back to Atlanta late Saturday.
"This is fantastic," Harbaugh said.
The marchers proceeded to the Emerson, where rain forced the rally inside to the gymnasium.
"We're here, we're queer and we're freezing," one man said.
Bozeman's Mayor Steve Kirchhoff was one of the first speakers. He received an enthusiastic hand as he moved to center stage, then raised his arms above his head and motioned for the crowd to clap more.
"Are you feeling some pride?" Kirchhoff asked. "I welcome you all, straight and gay, women and men, to Bozeman, Montana. We're here to celebrate the freedom to be who we are."
Also at the rally was Adrianne Neff and her 2-year-old son. Olson and others have been raising money to help Neff and her partner, Carla Grayson, whose Missoula home burned to the ground in an arson fire Feb. 8. The house burned just four days after Neff and Grayson filed a lawsuit seeking health benefits for same-sex couples employed by the Montana university system. Grayson is a University of Montana assistant professor of psychology.
So far, PRIDE has raised more than $50,000 for the fund.
"The support of this community has helped us get through the last four months," Neff said.
The pair's insurance company and the Missoula police investigated the fire. The insurance company has ended their investigation and paid the pair recently for their loss, Neff told the crowd.
When Neff left the stage, she received a standing ovation.
Rep. Michelle Lee, D-Livingston, was the only local legislator attending the rally. She advised the audience to become activists.
"Convince five people around you to work on equality issues," she said.
Joan Haines is at email@example.com
Hope you are still around when I return.
-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), June 09, 2002
And your point is?
-- Send (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 10, 2002.
There have always been gays in Boseman. Cowboys get lonely on the trail.
-- (Marlboro man @ Lone.cowboy), June 10, 2002.
If you think that's weird, how about the gay pride parade in Jerusalem? Is nothing sacred?
-- (not@homophobe.), June 10, 2002.
The point is "if it plays in Montana, it plays everywhere". This is not a criticizm of gay rights. It is an observation of the changes in the country. When I moved there in 1970, gays couldn't be discussed, even though I knew some folks there that were gay. As I said the times they are a changin.
-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), June 11, 2002.
Hey, you back already? Run out of gas money for the Gulfstream?
-- More (bs@from.Z), June 11, 2002.
It was a private 757; conference room and everything. We met to decide how we could steal more money from you. We know who you are" ;<))))
-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), June 13, 2002.
The Catholic Church should sponser these parades, considering how much they appear to have contributed to the movement.
-- Cherri (email@example.com), June 17, 2002.
Now now Cherri, be a good lil democrat.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 17, 2002.