A gay pride event has sparked major controversy after news broke that the event organizers were charging an admission fee to whites only, saying it was for “reparations.”
The website for the event says “White people and their accomplices” have to pay somewhere between $10 to $50 according to their ability.
“TAKING B[L]ACK PRIDE is about lifting the voices, narratives, and contributions of Black queer and trans voices. It’s about centering who we are and what we need to feel empowered, joyful and heard,” the organizers said.
The news led Philip Lipson and Charlette LeFevre, the leaders of Capitol Hill Pride, blasted the event as potentially illegal.
‘We consider this reverse discrimination in its worse (sic) form and we feel we are being attacked for not supporting due to disparaging and hostile e-mails,” said Lipson and LeFevre in a letter. “Please review this event’s stated admission policy as we feel this event is violating Seattle, King County, State and Federal equality laws.”
The Seattle Human Rights Commission responded and sided with the event organizers, saying the event “does not in fact violate any of your human rights as states in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.”
In fact, leaders are now turning against Capitol Hill Pride for challenging the whites only payment plan.
“I will no longer be attending Capitol Hill Pride after reading their letter to the Seattle Human Rights Commission,” said Seattle City Council president and mayoral candidate M. Lorena González. “After a year that has taken an unbelievable toll on all of our communities, I was looking forward to this opportunity to celebrate Pride in person. However, I simply cannot support an organization that is trying to stop Black people in the LGBTQ+ community from celebrating Pride in the manner that they choose.”
Many others are refusing to attend the event now, raising the question, what’s going on in Seattle?