City Hall Pride Flag-Raising Ceremony interrupted

- It’s OutFest day in Philadelphia, what organizer Philly Pride Presents calls “Philly’s unique celebration of National Coming Out Day” but it started out with a hitch at City Hall.

Protesters showed up while Mayor Jim Kenney was attending the annual Pride Flag-Raising Ceremony.

This comes after the owner of a local LGBTQ bar was caught on video using a racist term.

Mayor Kenney ended up putting out this statement:

“As I have said previously, there is no denying that racism and discrimination is an issue within the LGBT community. The Gayborhood should be a sanctuary for all in the LGBT community, but sadly not everyone is welcome at some of its institutions, and until real steps are taken to address racist dress code policies or other instances of institutionalized discrimination, I will not go to those institutions.

“Discrimination in the Gayborhood and across the city is not something that one person or one office can be expected to solve on its own – it’s on all of us – and I hope the hearing that the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations is holding on racism in the Gayborhood will start to move that ball forward. I intend to be there to do my part in ensuring that it does, and I encourage all others that are invested in change to attend as well.”

The flag-raising tradition was started by the city’s late LGBT Affairs Director Gloria Casarez. 

The OutFest celebration continues around 12th and 13th streets, from Locust and Spruce, until 6pm.

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