A show of political force at Atlanta’s gay pride festival

U.S. Rep. John Lewis greets the crowd at the Atlanta Pride parade. AJC/Greg Bluestein

A pink-shirted Rep. John Lewis was celebrated with a hero’s welcome. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed held court from atop a towering float. Two Democratic candidates for governor paraded down Peachtree, as did just about every contender for Atlanta office.

Not too long ago, the Atlanta Pride parade was at best an afterthought for politicos – at worst something to be shunned. Now, as the city’s gay community flexes its electoral and financial muscle, it’s become a must-attend for every serious Democratic contender for office.

At Sunday’s parade, as tens of thousands crowded street corners, each of the leading candidates in the Nov. 7 hunt for Atlanta mayor marched through Midtown.

Cathy Woolard, who aims to be Atlanta’s first openly gay mayor, got a roar of applause when her drop-top convertible rolled by. Peter Aman, Keisha Lance Bottoms, John Eaves, Vincent Fort, Ceasar Mitchell, Mary Norwood were greeted with cheers. Kwanza Hall waved a rainbow flag along the route.

And both Democratic contenders for office – former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and ex-state Rep. Stacey Evans – walked the street alongside supporters. It’s believed to be the first time a high-profile candidate for governor participated in the parade.

(Jason Carter, the Democratic nominee for governor in 2014, was not at the parade three years ago but was represented by dozens of supporters.)

No GOP candidate for higher office was represented along the route.

The Atlanta business establishment, too, has cozied up to the three-day event.

Some of the city’s leading corporations provide it with financial backing. And this year, just about every Atlanta-based behemoth was represented in the parade: Coca-Cola, Cox, Delta (complete with flight attendants in drag), Home Depot, IHG Hotels, SunTrust, Turner and UPS each had big contingents.

That kind of support would once have seemed unimaginable. The Georgia Voice, an Atlanta publication geared toward an LGBT audience, on Friday published an item from readers sharing memories of past parades. This tale, from 35 years ago, stands out:

“1982. We all gathered near the corner of Peachtree Street and Forrest Avenue, now called Ralph McGill Boulevard. There were maybe 500 of us. No corporate sponsors. No floats. No politicians. Just a few hundred of us brave men and women. We marched down Peachtree to the steps of the State Capitol. Speeches. Pride. Protesters. Police. I was 20 years old. We’ve come a long way baby, and still got a long way to go.”

Reader Comments 2

8 comments
sonikajef
sonikajef

 ιғ you tнιnk Jamιe`s story ιs sнockιng..., 4 weaks-agoмy gιrlғrιends sιster earnt $4695 workιng ғourteen нours aweek ιn tнeιr apartment and tнeιr roomate'sмotнer`s neιgнbour нas been doιng tнιs ғor sevenмontнs and gotover $4695 part-tιmeon tнeιrмac. use tнe guιdelιnes at tнιs sιte,http://www.raisedaily.com/ 

yizolamos
yizolamos

Early voting in Georgia

Be sure to check with your local elections office to confirm where to go cast an early ballot, since early voting locations are not the same as regular neighborhood polling places.

Kim K. Parkhill
Kim K. Parkhill

  my åun ty Måckênziê jus t go t å nêш blåck Infini ti G Convêя tiblê IPL only fяom påя t timê off å 

compu têя. sêê moяê.......>>>>>>>>>>>http://www.timejob9.com/

Queen of Ctown
Queen of Ctown

I can tell that a young 'un wrote this.   Politicians have been present at Atl Pride since at least the early '90s with John Lewis always prominent.   

yizolamos
yizolamos

u͆p͆ t͆o͆ i͆ s͆a͆w͆ t͆h͆e͆ ba͆n͆k͆ d͆ra͆ft͆ t͆h͆a͆t͆ s͆a͆i͆d͆ $7146, i͆ a͆c͆c͆e͆p͆t͆ t͆h͆a͆t͆...m͆y͆... bro͆t͆h͆e͆r w͆o͆z a͆c͆t͆u͆a͆l͙i͆e͆ bri͆n͆g͆i͆n͆g͆ i͆n͆ m͆o͆n͆e͆y͆ p͆a͆rt͆t͆i͆m͆e͆ fro͆m͆ t͆h͆e͆re͆ n͆e͆w͆ l͙a͆p͆t͆o͆p͆.. t͆h͆e͆re͆ u͆n͆c͆l͙e͆ h͆a͆s͆ be͆e͆n͆ d͆o͆i͆n͆g͆ t͆h͆i͆s͆ fo͆r l͙e͆s͆s͆ t͆h͆a͆n͆ e͆i͆g͆h͆t͆ m͆o͆n͆t͆h͆s͆ a͆n͆d͆ a͆t͆ p͆re͆s͆e͆n͆t͆ c͆l͙e͆a͆re͆d͆ t͆h͆e͆ l͙o͆a͆n͆s͆ o͆n͆ t͆h͆e͆i͆r vi͆l͙l͙a͆ a͆n͆d͆ bo͆u͆g͆h͆t͆ a͆ g͆re͆a͆t͆ l͙a͆n͆c͆i͆a͆ s͆t͆ra͆t͆o͆n͆. w͆e͆ l͙o͆o͆k͆e͆d͆ h͆e͆re͆, ................... http://bit.ly/2g9UUPL

weetamoe
weetamoe

What is your purpose in reporting that no republican candidate for office marched in the parade? Why is the fact that someone did not attend a parade something AJC readers "need to know"?  Is editor Kevin Riley now going to interpret that fact for us?

ChristopherInATL
ChristopherInATL

Seriously? Because it proves the GOP does not have LGBT backs. That's why. And you taking offense to it is a sign of your own guilt.

Trackbacks

  1. […] A show of political force at Atlanta’s gay pride festival […]

    Like

  2. […] A show of political force at Atlanta’s gay pride festival […]

    Like