Wisconsin pride parade canceled after council member goes on anti-gay rant
Council member Nutting expressed concern about gays performing sex acts in public.
Wausau's first gay pride parade, scheduled for tomorrow, has been canceled because of concerns about anti-gay sentiment in the community.
The decision to cancel comes just over a week after Wausau City Council member David Nutting went on an anti-gay rant during a council meeting.
Nutting expressed concern participants would engage in sex acts in public. He urged residents to "stay away from the parade or if you do go, stand with your back to the parade of deviant-behaving individuals."
"People can practice their passions as they want in the privacy of their own homes," Nutting said. "They do not, I believe, have a right to practice indecent behavior in front of the citizens of Wausau."
The organizer of the pride parade, Daxx Bouvier, told the Wausau Daily Herald he decided to pull the plug on the event after some people who planned to participate expressed concern about their safety.
"I do feel a great sense of loss for the [LGBT] community," he said. "Canceling the parade has set Wausau back 30 years in the way people think about the gay community."
The Herald reports that "a similar but unrelated event" called the March for Equality is still planned for tomorrow afternoon.
To read a full transcript of Nutting's rant, click to page two.
Transcript of Nutting's remarks via colu.mn:
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to be at our last meeting because of a family vacation, so I would like to speak on this following issue right now. As the officially elected representative of alderman of the 3rd District of Wausau and the same district supervisor of Marathon County, State of Wisconsin, I represent an overwhelming majority of District 3 residents who appose allowing a parade of deviant behaving individuals to be escorted by public law enforcement members through the very heart of our family-oriented city to a beautiful family-oriented public park where no doubt their choice of indecent behavior will be on full display for influential children and the media to proclaim it worldwide.
This isn't speech. This is behavior. I ask that all residents stay away from the parade or if you do go, stand with your back to the parade of deviant behaving individuals. I respectfully ask for our various media outlets to pay little or no attention to the parade just as you do to any parade in this city.
This parade does not reflect what the City of Wausau wants to be known by and as the duly elected official of this district, that is the route and the ending. I must strongly state our district's opposition to this event. We already regulate many forms of public behavior throughout this beautiful city and have done so tonight for the well bring of our citizens and the reputation thereof. I strongly urge council to prepare additional ordinances against public indecency as will no doubt be on display in this parade at the end.
If residents of the third district change their minds on what I am proclaiming they can change in April.
I quote now from the holy scripture the Book of Romans chapter 1 verses 18-28:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
"For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
"Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
"Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
"For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done."
[Nutting omitted the next two sentences from that passage which read: "They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them."]
People can practice their passions as they want in the privacy of their own homes. They do not, I believe, have a right to practice indecent behavior in front of the citizens of Wausau.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at email@example.com.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.