STEINBACH – It has been an emotional day in Steinbach, with the Bible Belt city holding its first ever Pride march.
Thousands of people turned out after weeks of controversy over RCMP initially denying organizers a parade permit and local politicians planning to stay away.
Organizer Michelle McHale says many people in Winnipeg don’t understand the struggle the LGBTTQ community in Steinbach faces.
She tells a story a little boy, having to explain his family, to friends.
“I know you probably aren’t going to like this, but I have two Moms. To which my friend said that’s okay, like, that doesn’t bother us, that’s good. And this child started to cry and said I can’t go to lots of my friends’ houses because their parents don’t think it’s okay,” relayed McHale.
Addressing the huge crowd on Saturday, McHale says the huge turnout sends a powerful message…
“We are pushing back against antiquated ideas that being LGBTTQ is sinful, something to be ashamed of or unnatural. A new Steinbach is being born in this moment.”
There was talk that there would be protests, but none were to be seen.
Winnipeg MP Dan Vandal was also there on Saturday to read a message from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who also sent his support from a NATO meeting in Poland:
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 9, 2016
The parade was supposed to start at 11 o’clock Saturday morning, but the march was delayed for a little while because traffic was backed up way down Highway 12 with people trying to get to Steinbach to take part.