In Joplin Missouri, the words "Gay Pride" are often met with many different opinions. Deep in the heart of America's Bible Belt people speaking out for same-sex marriages are on the rise.
Last week's Gay Pride Festival was celebrated through out the Joplin Missouri community with a variety of different events.
Though there are many mixed views regarding gay and lesbian rights. No one could deny the celebration that took place in the Joplin MO area
Not only were the schedule of events posted in the local newspaper , they were also posted on the website for JOPLIN GAY LESBAIN FAMILY CORPORATE CENTER. There was a detailed account of the events that took place as well as many outreach numbers for any and all wishes to seek further information regarding the welfare of the Gay & Lesbian Community
The first event took place at McClelland Park. This began a week of festivities that celebrated Gay Pride. With entertainment, food, and multiple vendors the Pride Festival was a successful event. With free admission the crowd was nearly packed with folks proud of who they are. There was a few on lookers as well. They were welcomed with open arms. Spreading the message of acceptance was one of the main themes in this years events.
On Tuesday the party moved to “Murphy's Irish Pub”. It was a night filled with karaoke and fun. No cover was charged that night and the Pub was nearly filled to capacity.
Later in the week many enjoyed the LGBT Pride Movie Night. It was a night show casing some of the most influential gay rights movie to ever become part of the silver screen. These movies included “MILK”, “Latter Days”, and “Torch Song Trilogy”
To top off the weeks events there was a Gay & Lesbian Fan Night at the Rich McCready concert at the Downstream Casino.
The Joplin Globe honored the event by presenting a week long feature called “7 Conversations in 7 Days”. This week long feature explored the pros and cons regarding same sex marriage. It is not secret that this is a very controversial subject and many opinions and views were expressed during the week.
At this time in the state of Missouri, same sex marriages are not legalized. The opposing sides of this debate have very different opinions, many were expressed during the week long feature.
McDaniel, president of the Joplin Gay & Lesbian states in the Globe
"Granting homosexual couples marriages rights is one step toward equal rights for all and is similar to the civil-rights fight that blacks went through in the 1960's."
And the other side of the spectrum is Jennifer Chanslor a resident of Joplin: “I would be against it. I don't think that as a Christian that you can really be for same-sex marriage.”
This is often the focal point of all debates here in Missouri. As well as the rest of the country. It can easily be refereed to similar arguments such as which books should be allowed to be in a public school or library. It has been and always will be and ethical and moral question. But they question is as humans, do we have the right to judge or control another's beliefs or actions.
As the week of festivities came to a close, many reflected back to earlier years when things were so much simpler. That is a far cry from what the world has become today. A complex and intense combination from many walks of life.