Va. Town Wants Name Dropped From Gay Pride Event

By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on Advocate.com September 21 2011 2:05 PM ET

Residents of Elkton, Va., said they have no problem with an upcoming gay pride event, as long as their town’s name is not attached to it.

WHSV-TV reports on a town council meeting Monday night where several residents objected to using the name of their Shenandoah Valley town in the gay pride event on October 9.

"I'm not racist, I'm not biased, this is a free country, but we have to be careful as to what we are going to allow attached to our names,” said Elkton resident Beverly Knight, according to WHSV-TV.

Mayor Roy Davis said the town does not have a patent on the name and the council cannot dictate the terms of the event, which is it not sponsoring.

"They have constitutional rights, we as a governing body cannot interfere with those constitutional rights,” he said.

WHSV-TV interviewed several pastors who attended the meeting to oppose the gay pride event, but they declined to appear on camera.

Health care company Merck, which is sponsoring the gay pride event, previously issued a statement that said, "Merck has a long-standing history of supporting diversity in our workforce and our communities. We believe that our approach to diversity is as broad as our lifesaving medicine, and we're proud and honored to sponsor this inaugural Elkton Pride Event."