The hometown of anti-gay Vice President Mike Pence will host its first ever Pride festival in an effort to distance themselves from the former governor.
Erin Bailey, a high school student, has organised the Columbus Pride Festival in an effort to prove that Mike Pence does not represent all of his hometown.
“I feel it is important for members of the LGBTQ community to know that Columbus is a welcoming and diverse community,” Bailey said to Huff Post.
“Even though Mike Pence is openly anti-gay, that doesn’t mean that all of us in his hometown are.”
The controversial vice president has one of the worst records on LGBT rights of any US leader in history.
Earlier this year Pence took to Twitter to call this record ‘fake news’, after being criticised by self-titled icon Adam Rippon.
The event is planned for April 14 and will be the first of its kind to be hosted Columbus, a small city with under 50,000 people.
Organiser Erin Bailey, a student of Columbus Signature Academy-New Tech, also said that as well as welcoming LGBT people to Columbus, the event could help distance the liberal-leaning town from the ultra-conservative Veep.
The 18-year-old said: “We are so much more than just a small town that he grew up in.”
“It is important for this event to be happening now so that others know that even in this time of hatred, we don’t all agree with it. This is an opportunity to show support for an all-inclusive community.
“This is something incredibly important to me, and I want to make a difference in not only our small Indiana community but in the world as well. Gay rights are human rights.”
Other LGBT+ groups in Columbus have welcomed the plans as the first of their kind, though they are by far the first pro-LGBT movement in Columbus, according to Pride Alliance Columbus.
“As an ally, it’s very important to me that Erin’s event, as wonderful as it is, is not seen in a vacuum. PAC has been in existence for almost 20 years, and our mission is inclusion for all,” said Pride Alliance Columbus’ president Jill Tasker.
This isn’t the first bit of potentially bad news for the anti-LGBT Vice President this month.
On St Patrick’s Day, LGBT activists in Georgia welcomed Pence to town with sea of rainbow flags, ensuring that in every photo Pence posed for, a rainbow flag could be seen.
Last week Pence’s family released a book about their bunny, titled “Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President”.
As part of a wider segment about the Vice President’s anti-LGBT policies and support for Donald Trump, comedian John Oliver announced that a gay parody of the Pence family’s book was being released by his show Last Week Tonight.
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Since the release, the book became the number-one bestseller on Amazon – three places above the Pences’ book.
Oliver later revealed to Ellen DeGeneres on her show, the book has now sold out.
“Unfortunately we have sold out because we were not anticipating people really buying it,” Oliver said.
The book is expected to be reprinted next month.