The Eugene/Springfield LGBTQ community, along with sponsors and allies, will gather this Saturday for the 26th Annual Pride Festival. The event at Alton Baker Park is expected to draw thousands.
Organizers say the yearly Pride Festival is a time to reaffirm commitments to equal justice under the law. Vincent Mays describes why this event is important to the LGBTQ community.
“We are a group of folks that have been discriminated against for a long time,” Mays says. “This festival, we come together in a safe space, a safe community, lesbians, gay, bisexuals, transgender community and we demonstrate that we are still here, we’re still fighting for our rights.”
Mays says part of the fight is against attempts to legislate discrimination through things like the military trans-ban and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He estimates last year, 5,000 people attended the Pride Festival.
The free event starts at noon and features 50 vendors, main stage performances, and a 2nd stage geared toward the youth audience with feedback sessions on sexuality and gender for young people and their parents.