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Organizer cancels Wis. pride parade over negative community reaction

Friday, June 21, 2013
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WAUSAU, Wis. — The organizer of what would have been the first ever gay pride parade in Wausau, Wis., has cancelled the event, saying he has experienced a wave of ugliness in the community.

Daxx Bouvier told the Wausau Daily Herald that he canceled Saturday’s parade after negative comments from a city council member and in articles in local media.

Bouvier says people who had planned to be in the parade told him they were concerned about their safety.

City Council member Dave Nutting said at meeting earlier this month that people should boycott the parade or, if they went, turn their backs on “deviant-behaving individuals.”

“I do feel a great sense of loss for the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community,” he said. “Canceling the parade has set Wausau back 30 years in the way people think about the gay community.”

Bouvier lives in California but owns a home in Wausau. He says he has no further plans to organize gay pride events in Wausau.

The March for Equality, a similar but unrelated event taking place at the same time Saturday still will be held, said its organizer, Shannon Thomas. More than 300 people have committed to participating in the march.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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