FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — After a months-long protest to encourage the city to deny Franklin Pride an event permit for this year’s festival, Franklin Pride will return for its third year Saturday at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm.
In April, hundreds of community members spoke against Franklin Pride at Board of Mayor and Aldermen meetings after the group had applied for a permit to hold the festival.
“You think you are doing things based on laws, but you are doing things and you are letting Satan in,” one Franklin woman told the board.
“God’s word is clear that homosexuality is a sin,” another woman said.
“It was really surprising, because for the first two years of our festival, we really had no pushback whatsoever, and we felt really welcomed and a lot of positive feedback from the community,” Clayton Klutts, Franklin Pride president said.
Despite this year’s opposition, Franklin’s BOMA voted to approve Franklin Pride’s event permit.
This year’s festival will be different, however, due to a law passed by the Tennessee legislature banning some drag performances in public places and in front of children. Even though the law is currently not in effect because of a lawsuit, Franklin Pride will not have a drag show at this year’s festival.
“I think the city was concerned that we might not get approved if we had a drag show this year, and we were concerned with the safety of our performers because, with the vagueness of the law, we couldn’t really tell what was prohibited and what was not,” Klutts said.
Despite the change, the purpose behind Franklin Pride remains the same: celebrate the LGBTQ community and its allies.
“I think it’s so important to show a welcoming community and all of us just sharing love and respect for each other and valuing every person’s differences that they bring, and it’s important for that to be part of our community,” Klutts said.
Doors open Saturday at noon, and the festival will last until 6 p.m. Franklin Pride is free to enter and park—the event will have food trucks, live music beginning at 1 p.m., around 130 vendors, a beer tent, and activities for children and teens.
For more details about Franklin Pride, click here.