Organizers of the first Salisbury Pride event say it was a success, with turnout being higher than expected. That’s despite the vocal anti-gay opposition that turned out in droves and surprised even police officials.
The Salisbury Post reports that only one citation was issued during the event. A 74-year-old Pride attendee kissed one of the anti-gay preachers on the mouth.
The Post‘s Emily Ford writes:
A 74-year-old woman from Colfax, N.C., who came to support the Salisbury Pride festival, kissed a street preacher on the mouth, Police Chief Rory Collins said.
The preacher, who was protesting the event, wanted Joan Parker charged with a crime.
‚ÄúWithout consent, a kiss can be considered an assault,‚ÄĚ Collins said.
Police ticketed Parker, who is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 12. She was asked to leave and complied, Collins said. During the day, two protestors also were banned by police.
Although police and volunteers interrupted several heated arguments between protestors and participants, the event was generally incident-free.
Organizer Mike Clawson took to Facebook the day after the event, noting that 1,000 attended.