Pride in the Park: Party and Picnic in Support of LGBTQQIAA Freedom, June 29th

bargaining_sticker_3Join Corvallis’ LGBTQQIAA community this Saturday, June 29, at Central Park in downtown Corvallis for Pride in the Park. A staple of Corvallis’ Pride Month events, the outdoor party, which runs from noon to 6:00 PM, is a celebration of the strides made in the decades long struggle for sexual freedom.  It’s an annual event, sponsored by Hewlett Packard, and organized by PRIDE Corvallis, a non-profit serving the LGBTQQIAAP Community in Corvallis.

Several other Corvallis area advocacy groups are involved, including the Corvallis/Albany chapter of PFLAG.

PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is a national organization of volunteers trying to advocate for and support members of the LGBTQQIAA community that’s been around for over 40 years.

Local PFLAG facilitator Tom Johnston couldn’t be more excited for this year’s event.

“It’s a big ol’ festival!  Everyone’s invited,” he says, ”just leave your hate at home.”

There will be vendors of all kinds, food, a beer/wine garden, storytelling, games and music. And Johnston hopes the whole community will come.

This year takes on extra meaning, as the picnic is taking place just as the Supreme Court is going to announce rulings on the controversial Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal statute that limits federal benefits and interstate recognition to heterosexual couples, and California’s Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage in the golden state.

That means this Saturday’s picnic could be a celebration of a victory of irreducible proportions.  It could also be a somber regrouping and refocusing on where to go next.

“It’s gonna go our way,” says a confident and upbeat Johnston, “and we’ll be celebrating on Saturday. Or it won’t, and we’ll be celebrating anyway, planning our next move.”

By Ygal Kaufman