US: Oakland Pride causes controversy over ‘ban’ on leather groups
A Pride parade in Oakland, California has drawn controversy, after organisers allegedly discouraged leather groups from attending.
The city’s first Pride parade, due to be held today, has opted for a ‘family friendly’ theme, discouraging people from wearing fetish-themed outfits common at Prides.
According to SFGate, organiser Carlos Uribe said: “We had some leather groups from San Francisco who wanted to come, and we politely declined. We want to keep this G-rated.
“We don’t want to compete with San Francisco Pride, we just want to offer a more family-friendly, diverse celebration. Sort of an end-of-summer bookend to SF Pride.
“We’ve always been a little less pretentious in Oakland, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot to celebrate.”
After an angry reaction online, Oakland Pride posted an apology, claiming it was “misquoted”, and does not ban leather groups.
A statement from Mr Uribe said: “Let me apologise to anyone who was offended by the quote in the article. Those are not my sentiments and not my words. What the article should have said is that we are not allowing nudity.”
The group continued: “Although it is correct that Oakland Pride will not allow nudity or sexually explicit materials at the Parade or Festival, this in no way denies the leather community from participating.”
“We acknowledge that the leather community is an important part of the LGBTQ community. They have raised millions of dollars for charity as well as been at the forefront of the fight for equality since day one.
“Oakland Pride is looking forward to celebrating the LGBTQ community and the diversity that exists within our community.”
However, the group’s statement does not directly deny the claim that leather groups were discouraged from attending.