Image Credit: Chattanooga Pride / Tennessee Valley Pride – Facebook & tndagc.org
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
Hamilton County District Attorney Coty Wamp turned a blind eye as the Chattanooga Pride parade took place on Sunday morning, finishing out their Pride Week events.
This year’s event took place inside the Chattanooga Convention center. Organizers moved the event indoors after last year’s festivities sparked outrage when viral videos showed that it was publicly accessible to children.
Mayor Weston Wamp had only recently been elected as mayor of Hamilton County when he commented on the event.
“Have a drag show if that’s really what you want to do, but don’t invite children in,” said Wamp after last year’s parade. “I think that’s inappropriate and it clearly made a ton of people in this community extremely uncomfortable.”
Governor Bill Lee later signed a law that prohibited drag shows from allowing minors to be in attendance.
Two Tennessee counties have seen judges issue injunctions against the law, alleging that it is unconstitutional. However, Hamilton County is not one of those counties, therefore the law is still in effect and enforceable.
Chattanooga Pride board member Arnold Ruelas said, “We were really just working with what the universe was handing us this year.”
Ruelas says the group is hoping to move the event back outdoors next year where attendees “can celebrate freely and be proud.”
District Attorney Wamp made it clear that she has no plans to give attention to protecting children from such events, issuing the following statement:
“With all the violence that has occurred in our community in the last three weeks (including a multitude of shootings and homicides), my office is not concerned about the Chattanooga Pride Festival. Because the constitutionality of the legislation is currently being challenged, and pursuant to the opinion of the Tennessee General’s Office, the statute is not currently being enforced in Hamilton County. Again, the community should know that their District Attorney is working hard to address the violent crime that plagues our city and the unacceptable number of overdoses across the county each month.”