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More drama for Lincoln City’s Iris Pride

Iris Pride in Lincoln City, Oregon

The Superhero themed LGBTQ Pride celebration Iris Pride in Lincoln City is the only one the Oregon coast and they need your help. They sent the following letter yesterday about residents unhappy with the city sponsorship:

Hello friends and family,

Our Sept 2011 Annual Iris Pride Festival in Lincoln City, on the fabulous Oregon Coast is over and the controversy has begun. A small group of people have become very verbal about the City of Lincoln City sponsoring this GLBT event. They want the city support to stop and are even implying the city officials be removed from their positions. Unfortunately, via letters to the editor in The News Guard (the local newspaper) as well as appearances in City Council meetings, this group in opposition of our Pride is pretty much the only one being heard from at this time.

Because of that, we are asking for your help. Attached is a letter encouraging the Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB) to keep up the good work. We want to overwhelm them with our support for this event, encouraging them to squash the naysayers and continue to support the GLBT community. To do this, we are asking that you respond via email or snail mail to the VCB. All contact information is included in the attached letter. Feel free to copy it, paste it, or even just forward the attachment to them to let them know we care enough to be heard. Or, if you have the time and energy to create your own letter, feel free…just get the word out ASAP.

Once you’ve done that, please forward this email on to as many people as you can and ask them to do the same. Thank you so much for supporting our Oregon Coast Pride Festival.

Silence on this implies we don’t care enough to speak up on the issue…let’s unite and let our voices be heard.

If you have questions or need more information please contact us at: cynicalcreations@yahoo.com.

Thank you,

Franci & Rebecca
Proud Supporters

Most of us may not be coast residents but some of us are, and I’m sure even hearing from Oregonians across the state will help. We are tourists there so I encourage you all to participate. They made it easy by creating a simple form letter you can copy/paste, which I have included below.

October 2011

Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau
PO Box 50
Lincoln City, Oregon 97367

Attention:       David Hawker: davidh@lincolncity.org
Sandy Pfaff: sandyp@lincolncity.org

Dear Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau,

Thank you so much for your continuing support of the Gay and Lesbian Community through the annual Iris Pride Festival.

I appreciate a city that respects diversity and provides a safe, fun environment to celebrate that diversity with family and friends. I’m sure your local businesses also appreciate the increased revenue potential generated during the festival. In the current economy, every little bit helps.

I have heard there has been a small group that has been very verbal about opposing the City supporting this endeavor. I thought you should hear another view.

Please rest assured, you are doing the right thing for Lincoln City, gay or straight, by continuing with your support. It brings visitors in, fills local businesses up, let’s vendors sell their wares, and supports many, charitable organizations. Keep up the good work. My friends, my family and I, will look forward to attending in 2012.

Thank you again!

Update via Just Out:

Lincoln City Visitor & Convention Bureau was receiving criticism by a small group opposing a city-sponsored gay pride festival – the annual Iris Pride – the Bureau has released an official statement in response. Sandy Pfaff, director of VCB, says that due to the newness of these reports, there has been “no time or appropriate opportunity for discussion by the City” to comment further. The statement is below:

The Lincoln City Visitor & Convention Bureau…has been the primary organizer and financial supporter of the Iris Pride Festival for the past 4 years. Its efforts to execute the festival have been supported by a variety of individuals, businesses and organizations, both local and outside the immediate Lincoln City area, who contribute and participate in equally varied ways, including entertainment, educational material, and retail vending.

I am in receipt this morning of a number of emails expressing support of the festival. The 2012 festival is currently scheduled for September 15, 2012.

Iris Pride organizers explained further that the first rumblings of controversy stemmed from an article dated October 4 in local paper The News Guard, in which community member Jim Hoover said that the VCB’s decision to post a link to a “raunchy” YouTube video featuring a drag performance by Lily Armani, “showed lax oversight at City Hall.”

But the opposition to the city-sponsored Iris Pride hasn’t ended there.

“There are also businesses in town that have received threatening phone calls,” reports organizers Franci and Rebecca.

One of those businesses is BK Mulligan’s, a Lincoln City sports bar that hosted the show in question, Drag-U-Licious. The event was a benefit for the Oregon Safe Schools & Communities Coalition and other local charities.

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