May 21, 2018
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Bangor gay pride festival Saturday

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The second annual Bridge Alliance Pride Festival will be held from 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday in West Market Square.

The festival is one of thousands held around the world during the month of June, according to Greg Music, vice president of the Bridge Alliance.

“They are the open expression of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people’s determination to live lives of acceptance and equality,” Music said of the event in Bangor and others.

President Barack Obama declared June National Pride Month and was scheduled to meet Tuesday at the White House with grass-roots gay activists, according to The Associated Press.

Maine organizations supportive of gay rights Saturday will be in Bangor with informational tables during the afternoon. Bands also will perform. A dance in the square will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. with local disc jockey Jessi Mallory hosting the street dance. After 10 p.m. the dance and music will move into the Whig & Cou-rier restaurant.

“The loss of marriage equality has left a powerful sting in the GLBT community, and that fight has not been forgotten,” Music said in a press release announcing the event in Bangor.

Last year, the Legislature passed and Gov. John Baldacci signed into law a bill that allowed same-sex couples to marry. It was repealed in November by a vote of 53 percent to 47 percent.

The Bridge Alliance was founded three years ago. It grew out of Northern Maine Pride, which for more than a decade sponsored the gay pride parade during the summer in Bangor.

One of its goals is to have allies, or straight people, work with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. Since its founding, the group has offered monthly dances, a prom and events for GLBT families, such as Halloween and Christmas parties.

The name Bridge Alliance is meant to call up images of Charlie Howard’s death, which occurred 26 years ago next month. Howard, a gay man, died on July 7, 1984, after being thrown by three teenagers from the bridge on State Street into Kenduskeag Stream. He was 23 at the time of his death.

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