COLGAY Pride holding event today in downtown Columbus

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comJune 20, 2014 

This year's COLGAY Pride is about everyone.

"This is about uplifting our community, bringing us together and uniting us as one," said Jeremy Hobbs, the founder and president of Chattahoochee Valley Better Way Foundation, which organized the event.

Starting at 11 a.m. today on Broadway's Uptown Stage in downtown Columbus, pride will focus alternately, and equally, on advocacy, education and entertainment in the LGBT community, with community leaders and clergy slated to attend.

First on the schedule, the city government will proclaim June as "Columbus, Ga., Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender Pride Month."

The foundation will make several announcements. The group will debut a new chapter of Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays, which begins meeting at the Columbus Public Library on Aug. 21.

A grant will allow the foundation to begin the Mpowerment Project, an HIV-prevention program targeting gay and bisexual men between the ages of 19 and 29.

Hobbs also will announce the "We Serve All Establishment" program, which encourages businesses to display free storefront stickers announcing that they don't tolerate discrimination.

Hobbs said he was spurred into action after the Arizona Legislature earlier this year considered -- but did not pass -- a bill allowing businesses to refuse service to LGBT men and women.

Pride's schedule will be broken up by live entertainment and community testimonials.

The Brittany Avery Band will take the stage in the afternoon, following interpretative dancer Wandra Hill and comedian Tracy Hart.

Garrett Vance will open the morning singing the national anthem. Later, he is slated to speak with his longtime partner, Tim, about their 20-year relationship.

The afternoon will end with the Rev. Emily Bell of Forgiving Heart Church and then Mix Ultra Lounge will open its doors for an after-party.

IF YOU GO

What: COLGAY Pride

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Uptown Stage on Broadway in downtown Columbus

Info: www.betterwayfoundation.com

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