Murfreesboro leaders to deny pride fest permit

The Pride Festival may be a thing of the past in Murfreesboro after the City Manager said this year's event was inappropriate for kids.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 11:31 PM CDT
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Murfreesboro Pride Fest may be a thing of the past in Murfreesboro after the city manager said this year’s event was inappropriate for kids.

Several people spoke about this at the City Council meeting on Thursday night.

People who spoke with WSMV4 Thursday said everything they saw at the event was family friendly, but the city manager saw one video online he didn’t like and now says he will deny all future special event permits for the organizers.

Murfreesboro native Ty Stallings looks forward to Boro Pride every year.

“I feel my faith in humanity restored all the way,” Stallings said. “It is beautiful.”

Now the festival is hitting a roadblock after City Manager Craig Tindall recently sent a letter to organizers saying this year’s even in September violated city ordinances.

“This is absolute nonsense,” Stallings said.

The letter is addressed to the Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, which organizers Boro Pride.

The letter says the event was promoted as family friendly and for all ages. Tindall argues that was a misrepresentation since he said the event contained conduct and speech of an explicitly sexual nature.

WSMV4 reviewed the video that prompted Tindall’s decision. Tindall said it shows sexual dancing with kids present.

“If something lewd happened, it is unfair to shut the entire thing down,” Mariah Phillips said.

Phillips also went to Boro Pride this year and was one of several who spoke in favor of keeping the event at the Murfreesboro City Council meeting on Thursday night.

“The homophobia of church and society has led to serious consequences,” Phillips said. “Pride, it is not just a parade for me, it is hope.”

Tindall told WSMV4 after Thursday’s meeting that the letter doesn’t mean Boro Pride is over. He said that anyone else, other than the Tennessee Equality Project, can file applications for a permit to continue the event.

“This place being my home, I would like for it to be a bastion of equal rights and a place of protection for all the minority communities,” Stallings said. “I think it would be a great loss to lose it.”

Tindall said the Tennessee Equality Project has not contacted him since the letter was sent about 2-1/2 weeks ago and said it’s “up to them” if they want to work with him to continue the festival.