Ferndale Pride’s Gay in May Kicks Off Festival Season

Ferndale Pride’s Gay in May Kicks Off Festival Seasondinos02sidelogo3

(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 1,2014)

Ferndale Pride took place May 31, kicking off the summertime festival season with a “Gay in May” theme. The festival celebrates diversity and raises money for The Ferndale Community Foundation and Michigan keith dalton adAIDS Coalition.  With booths for organizations and businesses, a kid’s activity tent, a main stage and a secondary dance area, and plenty of after parties in Downtown Ferndale bars, there were opportunities for fun for people of all ages.

Transgender Michigan held a gender equality rally, and Affirmations LGBT community center was open for tours and for their new ally recruiting program.

Politicians came out in force too, with State Representative candidates Rudy Serra and Andrew Cissell both having a booth.  Joe McHugh, who is also running for the seat, ran in the Rainbow Run and stopped by Cissell’s booth to JudyPalmer01sign a petition to put marijuana decriminalization on the Berkley ballot.

Hazel Park mothers April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse came to Ferndale Pride as well with their children.  The couple is currently in the Candlewickshop_May2014appeals process, fighting the State of Michigan to get same sex marriage and second parent adoption legalized. Because of their case, a window of opportunity opened for just over 300 couples to legally marry, though the State has placed those marriages on hold pending an appeal determination.  Attorney Dana Nessel was also at the festival.  She said the appeal could be heard as soon as August.

Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter and Reverend Kinsel of Christ the Good Shepherd performed commitment ceremonies at the festival, with hopes of being able to one day do morespiritual life ferndale state-recognized marriages.

The Ferndale Community Foundation took the opportunity to recognize other community projects with grant awards.  The winners were Ferndale Arts and Cultural Commission, Ferndale Beautification Commission, sidebar012stairsFerndale Recreation, Michigan AIDS Coalition and Ferndale Youth Assistance.

Le Host, a salon on West 9 Mile set up a Prayer Booth in front of their store and brought in people who walked through the crowds with signs and encouraged people to turn away from their lifestyles and change to their view of religion which opposes LGBT people.  Though the signs and condemnation were hurtful to people, those carrying the signs were otherwise cordial and the day was a peaceful one.

For more information on this annual event, see www.ferndalepride.com.  For pictures from the Rainbow Run, which was held just before Pride, see http://oaklandcounty115.com/2014/06/01/2014-rainbow-run-as-colorful-as-ever/.

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