Knox Pride is going to be attacked by neo-Nazis | Photo: Knox Pride
Knox Pride is sorry for a policy saying people would be removed if they argued with neo-Nazis.
People in Knoxville, Tennessee were nervous after extremists threatened to attack Pride-goers.
Organizers said they wanted to keep the peace and protect people at Pride.
In an email sent to paraders, they furthermore told police would remove with them if they reacted to harassers.
Many also criticized them for the email that advised ‘family-friendly’ dress.
Knox Pride organizer resigns after email to Pride marchers
Mark Janes, parade coordinator, resigned yesterday (20 June). He also resigned from the Knox Pride board, which he has been a member of for 11 years.
‘My email to the participants for the Knox Pride Parade stated the rules and regulations, and I did not explain all of it very well,’ Janes said in the post.
‘That’s on me and I own it,’ he also said. ‘I apologize for not having the correct grammar skillset needed to make our policies clear and detailed.’
Janes said he wanted to make sure everyone knew Knox Pride was working to keep people safe.
‘It was not an attempt to silence anyone or to control your conduct,’ he said. ‘It was set up to protect you and Knox Pride.’
The email said we will ‘take the high road’.
‘If you are in the Parade and engage with the protesters, the Knox Pride Board asked KPD and State Police to remove you and your representing group from the Parade Route.’
Knox Pride also claimed this would apply only to marchers, not onlookers.
Neo-Nazis threaten Knox Pride
Several neo-Nazi groups, from Tennessee and Arkansas, have said they will come together to rally against Pride.
Former Knox County Sheriffs Office detective Grayson Fritts also delivered a bigoted sermon prior to the announcement.
He called for the state to ‘arrest and execute’ the LGBTI community in Knoxville.
Knox Pride organizers apologized in a statement on Facebook.
They said: ‘As an organization that was founded because of the struggles of LGBTQ+ individuals in East Tennessee, born from the riots/uprising 50 years ago at the Stonewall Inn, and lived every single day we get up to go about our lives in a heteronormative world, we are aware that our voices should never be suppressed and that with our voice comes a responsibility to our community.’