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Arlington Pride event date changed due to pushback from city officials

June is Pride Month but after pushback from Arlington's mayor and the police department, Arlington Pride is expected to happen in late July.

ARLINGTON, Wash. — Pride Month, celebrated in June with events honoring the LGBTQ+ community, is facing pushback from city leaders in Arlington according to Arlington Pride. 

They detailed that pushback in a Facebook post on Sunday. This is the second year for Arlington to have a Pride.

According to Arlington Pride, the pushback is coming from city leaders, including long-time Mayor Barb Tolbert and the police department. The organization claims it has been asked not to have drag queens at its Pride event. Drag Queens are ubiquitous at Pride and credited for starting the Stonewall Riots which birthed modern-day pride.

RELATED: Marsha Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and the history of Pride Month 

Recently, they've become the political foil for Republicans who claim they're protecting children by trying to ban events like Drag Queen Story Hours. Republican lawmakers in at least 16 states have introduced bills that seek to restrict or criminalize drag performances.

Leah Daniels, who lives in Arlington, believes Pride events are crucial for showcasing the city's inclusivity and welcoming nature. She says it is vital to give visibility to everyone in the city.

"Pride is important for the kids who are coming up, who are too afraid to tell their parents and tell their families, to know that even if they know their parents will kick them out, they still have a town that’s supportive and will love them at the end of the day," Daniels said.

City Administrator Paul Ellis did not address the claims made by Arlington Pride in an email response, but he mentioned the organization has resubmitted its event application with a new date to allow for more time to plan. The application is currently being reviewed.

Arlington Pride says it's also having trouble getting permits for the event along with being able to afford off-duty police officers. Volunteers are still needed.


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