Nashville Gay Pride Festival Undermines Traditional Beliefs But Draws Broad Support

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Organizers of the Nashville Pride Festival are cheering a resolution passed by the Metro Council recognizing June as “Nashville Pride Month.”

The annual gay pride event will be held Saturday and Sunday at Public Square Park.

The Metro Council resolution, as well as the event’s corporate sponsors, reflect the degree to which what once was a fringe movement has become mainstream, even here in the South where there are still many churches, a number of which continue to uphold traditional beliefs about marriage and sexuality.

The resolution says that “the city of Nashville is honored to welcome members of the LGBT community and their allies to celebrate a very special and important event honoring the diversity, inclusion, and history of the pride and gay rights movement.”

The resolution also says that the “celebration and movement continues to grow and celebrates inclusion as a necessary ingredient to making Nashville and the United States truly diverse. Nashville Pride has grown immensely and is now one of the largest public weekend festivals in Middle Tennessee, reminding us to embrace what makes each individual unique and to use those qualities to change the world for the better.”

More than 20,000 people attended the festival year.

This year, Bridgestone is again the main sponsor. Other sponsors include Nissan, Delta, Opry Mills, Sam’s Club, Dollar General, First Tennessee Bank, U.S. Bank, Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, among others.

The Nashville Pride Facebook page features a message of thanks to the Metro Council for the resolution and describes the LGBT movement as being part of a larger movement that is “intersectional.”

“Intersectionality is the inclusion of all people, no matter race, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status or physical ability,” the Facebook post says. “The way we will all move forward together is with a little grace, peace and love.”

The writer Andrew Sullivan took issue with the word “intersectionality” in a recent article for New York Magazine titled “Is Intersectionality a Religion?” Sullivan is openly gay and a conservative, though not a traditional one. He writes:

‘Intersectionality’ is the latest academic craze sweeping the American academy. On the surface, it’s a recent neo-Marxist theory that argues that social oppression does not simply apply to single categories of identity — such as race, gender, sexual orientation, class, etc. — but to all of them in an interlocking system of hierarchy and power…

It is operating, in Orwell’s words, as a ‘smelly little orthodoxy,’ and it manifests itself, it seems to me, almost as a religion. It posits a classic orthodoxy through which all of human experience is explained — and through which all speech must be filtered. Its version of original sin is the power of some identity groups over others. To overcome this sin, you need first to confess, i.e., ‘check your privilege,’ and subsequently live your life and order your thoughts in a way that keeps this sin at bay. The sin goes so deep into your psyche, especially if you are white or male or straight, that a profound conversion is required.

 

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