A gay President Donald Trump supporter is accusing a gay pride group of discrimination.
"Deplorable Pride," a pro-Trump gay pride group based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is not being allowed to participate in a parade held by "Charlotte Pride," one of the largest gay pride organizations in the southeastern United States, reports The Washington Post.
Brian Talbert, a Deplorable Pride member, says his organization is being discriminated against because its members are Trump supporters.
"I’m very proud of my country, proud of my president, and was once proud of my community," said Talbert, whose truck features a Trump-Vice President Mike Pence bumper sticker and a "Not a liberal" sign on the back window, reports WJZY.
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"I’m very proud of my vote," Talbert continued. "I don't regret my vote. I will vote for Donald Trump again. I'm proud of my president. I don't think I should be vilified because I’m proud of a U.S. president as an American."
According to Talbert, he and a fellow gay Trump supporter sent in an application to Charlotte Pride so they could have a float in this year's Charlotte Pride Parade. But their float application was denied three weeks after the group submitted it.
The float was going to be 27 feet long, have "a bunch of American flags," a replica of the Statue of Liberty, "female impersonators" and the "most patriotic music anyone has ever heard," Talbert told The Post.
He elaborated, as seen on WJZY: "It was going to be fun. We wanted to be energetic. We wanted to show that we weren't ... racist, bigot, misogynistic … We wanted to show that we are Americans, love our country and our president. We wanted to be there to celebrate gay pride. Everything fell into place except being able to celebrate who I am."
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Talbert plans to file a lawsuit against Charlotte Pride, accusing the group of discrimination, and has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for potential legal fees --it raised more than $4,000 of its $100,000 goal on the first day.
Charlotte Pride released a statement via email explaining that it "reserves the right to decline participation" at events to groups that do not reflect the mission and values of the organization. "Charlotte Pride envisions a world in which LGBTQ people are affirmed, respected, and included in the full social and civic life of their local communities, free from fear of any discrimination, rejection, and prejudice," the statement said.
The Trump administration began removing LGBT information from the White House website on the day Trump took office, and a report on the Labor Department’s website on LGBT workers' rights was also removed, The Post reported at the time.