CLEVELAND — Cleveland Pride, Inc. announced on Thursday that the 28th annual parade, rally and festival has been cancelled for 2016.
In a press release post on their Facebook page, the organization said:
“Because of the changing social climate, Cleveland Pride did not have enough time to engage in the development of awareness programs and training that we believe is critical in today’s environment. Therefore, we regretfully cancelled our 28th annual parade, rally and festival this year.”
The organization said it would be refunding the fees of vendors, sponsors and service providers.
Phyllis Harris, executive director of the LGBT Community Center of Great Cleveland expressed surprise and disappointment in the cancellation.
“We are deeply disappointed in the absence of the Cleveland Pride celebration this year. From the tragedy of the Pulse nightclub shooting to the historic passage of a trans nondiscrimination ordinance here in Cleveland to the on-going fight for full LGBTQ rights across the country, this is a time when we desperately need an opportunity to be together and to be visible.”
Harris said that the center will be supplying a list of events that were scheduled to support Pride that will still go on as planned.
Cleveland had also hosted the Republican National Convention only a week ago.
Social media reaction was strong with many people both locally and in the region expressing sadness and anger about the cancellation.
While many Pride celebrations have heightened security after the shootings at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, no other Pride events in the region have been cancelled.