CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A local Republican LGBTQ group says they have been denied entry to this year’s Charlotte Pride Parade solely because they support President Donald Trump.
“What should offend any American about that is beyond me,” founder Brian Talbert said.
Talbert says he remembers participating in the first Charlotte Pride Parade, in 2000.
“We had more protesters then we had participants,” he recalled. “We got spit on, we got thrown rocks at us. It wasn't the party of today.”
That’s why he says he was excited to attend this year. So excited, in fact, that he and a group of friends decided to enter a float in the parade.
“We also wanted to represent our 45th president,” Talbert explained. “It was going to be pro-American, pro-Trump, pro-gay.”
But Charlotte Pride denied their request.
A representative of the event refused an on camera interview but told NBC Charlotte in a statement:
Charlotte Pride reserves the right to decline participation at our events to groups or organizations which do not reflect the mission, vision and values of our organization, as is acknowledged in our parade rules and regulations by all groups at the time of their parade application. In the past, we have made similar decisions to decline participation from other organizations espousing anti-LGBTQ religious or public policy stances.
Charlotte Pride envisions a world in which LGBTQ people are affirmed, respected, and included in the full social and civic life of their local communities, free from fear of any discrimination, rejection, and prejudice.Charlotte Pride invites all individuals, groups, organizations and causes which share our values to join our community's celebration of the LGBTQ community, history, arts and culture during the Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade, Aug. 26-27, 2017.
But Talbert says they are being hypocritical of the inclusiveness they claim to represent.
“Start being proud of your country and stop being ashamed of the diversity that you claim to represent,” he said.
“The only discrimination I'm receiving is from the gay community.”
He formed an organization with other gay Republicans called “Deplorable Pride.”
They plan on hosting their own parade and have already received $8,000 in donations.
Mostly, he says, from straight Republicans.
“To vilify each other for how we voted is wrong,” he said. “I’m going to stand up for my American right.”