Orlando’s annual Pride event is postponed and rescheduled for November as Hurricane Matthew is causing evacuations in some parts of the state. New dates have not yet been announced.
This comes after right-wing commentator Andrew Brieszad of a website called Shoebat suggested the storm was threatening Florida only because “sodomites” were drawing the wrath of God by holding a Pride parade. Yet even after the postponement, the storm rages on. Go figure.
Organizers for Come Out With Pride monitored the storm path closely all week, and on Wednesday announced that a launch party scheduled for today and a block party scheduled for Thursday would no longer take place. This morning, organizers made the decision to pull the plug on a day full of events this Saturday.
A full statement reads: “Due to the incoming threat of Hurricane Matthew and the risk that it imposes to Central Florida, the organizers of Come Out With Pride (COWP) are postponing this weekend’s festivities to November. The safety of participants and attendees is our highest priority.
“The Central Florida area is currently facing the possibility of widespread power outages, obstructed roadways, and high demand for Police and Fire services in the period following the storm. While the weather forecast for Saturday is favorable for our event, expected conditions today and Friday will severely impact the ability of our team to set up and prepare the park for a festival. Additionally, many non-local vendors, entertainers and supporting businesses will be unable to participate due to transportation and logistical issues.
“With so many in the community looking forward to uniting together at Pride, the Come Out With Pride board is committed to making the event happen at a later time in November. We will be working with officials on alternative plans and will announce the details as soon as possible. Updates will be posted to our website and social media channels as they become available.”
Hurricane Mathew, which is expected to be a Category 4 storm when it makes landfall in Florida today or Friday, spurred state officials to order a large-scale evacuation. Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned those who choose to wait out the weather that “this storm will kill you.”
Brieszad and other homophobes suggested the storm only threatened U.S. shores because Pride events in Orlando and Savannah, Ga., celebrated sin. He singled out Orlando because he said outrageous displays of Pride were being done with city and corporate support. “A hurricane — the storms from an evil being — named after the New Testament Evangelist whose symbol is an angel- a messenger of God and and executor of His will among and upon men — is about to make landfall on the exact area where two massive sodomite parades are taking place and almost to the day for the largest one, and the exact day the hurricane is scheduled to hit is the Feast Day of the Holiest Prayer in the Catholic Church used to fight the most wicked of sins and heresies given by the Mother of God herself.”
He never mentions that the Orlando Pride event was to be a cathartic and healing event for the community of Orlando months after the deadly Pulse shooting. In the end, though, organizers of the event were unwilling to attract 200,000 into the path of a devastating storm.