Cleveland Pride cancelled over ‘changing social climate’ amid security fears

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Cleveland Pride has been cancelled just two weeks before it was set to take place, after “security” concerns.

The 28th annual Pride event had been set to take place in Cleveland, Ohio on August 13.

However, the event issued a release this week confirming it had been cancelled.

Cleveland Pride CEO Todd J Saporito said: “We have been entrusted by our community to create a secure parade and festival environment for our LGBTQ brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, friends and allies.

“Because of the changing social climate, Cleveland Pride did not have enough time to engage in the development of awareness programs and training that we believe is critical in today’s environment.

“Therefore, we regretfully cancelled our 28th annual parade, rally and festival this year.”

Though the reasons for the cancellation is unclear, the references to a secure environment and “changing social climate” appear to suggest security concerns in the wake of the Orlando attack.

A number of Prides have faced extra security measures after Orlando, with Paris Pride restricted to a shorter, locked-down route.

San Francisco Pride also introduced tough new security rules, locking down a ‘secure zone’ in the centre of the city amid fears of copycat attacks.

Mr Saporito continued: “While the specific day of celebration has been cancelled, Cleveland Pride, Inc. seeks to remind everyone that Pride is not a one-day celebration, but a daily act of visibility throughout our community.

“While we may not be marching as a large, unified body, we can come together throughout Cleveland and continue our support of local LGBTQ establishments and LGBTQ community members.”

The release added: “The planning team’s next steps will be to refund monies to vendors, sponsors and service providers.

“A team of board members and lead volunteers will initiate discussion for town hall meetings to further map out a program where we and other LGBT community partners, will be able to start crafting awareness and training programs, that will be beneficial on a day-to-day basis as well as prepared for our celebration in 2017.”