The Equality Forum, a
weeklong LGBT cultural event that takes place in Philadelphia
every spring, will not receive its usual $115,000 support from
the city this year.
In light of the current
budget deficit, Mayor Michael Nutter has approved pulling
funding from several special events that the city hosts,
including the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Puerto Rican Day
festival. Although these events draw large crowds of tourists
-- the Equality Forum boasts 75,000 participants -- the city
can no longer afford to support them.
executive director of the Equality Forum, expressed his
disappointment at the decision to pull funding from the event,
stating, "When Mayor Nutter was elected, we felt like [the
LGBT community] finally had a seat at the table. Now we feel
like that seat has been pulled out from under us."
David Oliver, addressed the Equality Forum and other
organizations' dismay over the lack of funding provided by the
city this year.
"They all make the
economic argument that they bring tourism to the city. We do
not refute that argument. But the simple fact remains that the
city has been faced with back-to-back billion-dollar cuts,"
This year's Equality
Forum, which will run from April 27 to May 3, will have to cut
back on promotion and advertising, including the display of
rainbow flags that usually goes up on Broad Street the
month of the forum, to make up for the budget cuts.