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Gay Pride in Orange County is Back
After nine years, Orange County's Gay Pride is making a comeback this summer. OC Register columnist Frank Micakdeit says the event fizzled out in 2001, but with the passing of Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in California, the Orange County Equality Coalition has scheduled the event for August 14th. "Gay-pride festivals have a mixed history in O.C. The first, in Santa Ana, in 1989, brought protests by conservative Christians, who threatened to recall the City Council members who voted to allow it at Centennial Park," noted Micakdeit. "At the event itself, protestors flung diapers full of feces at participants. There was jeering back and forth, and cops arrested six. The city caved to political pressure and banned all festivals at the park." This year's event will be at Hidden Valley, which is a private park, thus avoiding political theatre, next to the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine.
Gay Pride events can be big generators for cities that host them: Long Beach this year brought out 80,000 people and over 400,000 came out to LA Pride in West Hollywood.