HRC Blog

Anoka Halloween Parade Turns Down Gay Group

Post submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

Organizers of the Anoka, Minnesota, Halloween Parade have denied a request from a gay youth group to participate, telling the group that the parade was already full. But Minnesota Public Radio is now suggesting that may not be entirely accurate.

The gay youth group, Justin’s Gift, was created last year in response to the severe level of bullying in the Anoka-Hennepin school district. Just this February, the district finally repealed a dangerous policy that forced teachers to remain “neutral” on LGBT issues in their schools.

You can view the rejection letter Justin’s Gift received from parade organizers here. But despite the fact that the gay youth group was told – on September 25 – that the parade was already full, event organizers actually didn’t apply for a parade license until just yesterday. And the Anoka Police Chief told MPR he isn’t even aware of any limits on the number of participants in parades.

Parade organizers have not responded to requests to clarify why exactly they denied participation to the gay youth group.

About 30 students from Justin’s Gift had planned to participate, with the theme of dressing as their favorite super heroes. 

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