Orlando Pride postponed over hurricane warning

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Orlando’s Pride festival, which was set to take place in memory of the victims of the Pulse massacre, has been postponed due to a hurricane warning.

50 people were killed and 53 injured in the Pulse gay club shooting on June 12, when a gunman opened fire in the club.

Four months on from the attack, the city’s defiant LGBT community was set to take to the streets this weekend for its annual Pride celebrations.

More than 150,000 LGBTQ community members and allies were expected to join the Come Out With Pride Festival on October 8.

However, due to Hurricane Matthew, which is heading towards Florida, the event has been postponed.

A statement said: “Due to the incoming threat of Hurricane Matthew and the risk that it imposes to Central Florida, the organizers of Come Out With Pride are postponing this weekend’s festivities to November. The safety of participants and attendees is our highest priority.

“The Central Florida area is currently facing the possibility of widespread power outages, obstructed roadways, and high demand for Police and Fire services in the period following the storm.

“While the weather forecast for Saturday is favorable for our event, expected conditions today and Friday will severely impact the ability of our team to set up and prepare the park for a festival.

“Additionally, many non-local vendors, entertainers and supporting businesses will be unable to participate due to transportation and logistical issues.

“With so many in the community looking forward to uniting together at Pride, the Come Out With Pride board is committed to making the event happen at a later time in November.

“We will be working with officials on alternative plans and will announce the details as soon as possible. Updates will be posted to comeoutwithpride.com and our social media channels as they become available.”

A Pulse float was set to head of the parade, including Pulse employees and victims’ family members. They were to be followed by first responders and Orlando Regional Medical Center staff, along with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan.

Community Grand Marshals including representatives of the Orlando Police Department and Fire Department were also to be represented at the head of the parade.

The new date is yet to be announced.

Hurricane Matthew has left a path of destruction across the Caribbean, killing nine people and displacing thousands from their homes in Haiti.

It is heading towards the coast of Florida, sparking warnings of damage.

A right-wing Christian columnist recently claimed that God sent the hurricane to ravage America because of gay people.