COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — An 18-year-old Indiana high school student is organizing what she says is the first gay pride festival for Vice President Mike Pence’s hometown.
Erin Bailey says she proposed the Columbus festival last year for her senior project at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School. The April 14 event will feature bands, vendors and a drag queen competition.
Bailey identifies as bisexual and hopes the event will illustrate that the small, conservative community is open to diverse groups.
Pence, a conservative Christian and Indiana’s former governor, signed a 2015 religious protections law creating a legal defense for businesses that objected to serving the LGBTQ community. The law provoked a national backlash and led to boycott threats, prompting lawmakers to make changes to the law.