Following recent news that Google and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office had been voted out of participating in San Francisco Pride, Event Industry News caught up with the event’s board president, Carolyn Wysinger.
She told us: “Our legal team has reviewed the vote that was cast by a small group of Pride’s 326 members and determined this measure is not binding. This small group is not representative of the larger Pride community, and our lawyers determined it is not reasonable for them to make motions at a meeting which doesn’t have enough people to equal a quorum and expect that vote to be a binding measure for the board of directors.”
The board, which was elected to represent the organisation’s members and the larger community, is due to meet again on 5th February to discuss how to proceed. Carolyn stated it has a “fiduciary responsibility to advocate for an inclusive, successful and safe celebration each year.”
Commenting on the group who voted in favour of the ban, she said: “We do not believe this group, made up of former Google employees, reflects the opinions of the larger Pride community.
“As we get ready to celebrate our 50th parade, our goal remains the same as it was for our first – to be inclusive and reflect the diversity of our communities. Including a variety of corporate sponsors helps us achieve this goal and also allows us to provide the festive atmosphere Pride is known for.
Seven members voted to ban Google, 10 voted to ban the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. Pride has 326 members, most of whom, Carolyn stated, were not present for the vote.
San Francisco Pride is the largest gathering of the LGBT community in America, with over 200 parade contingents and exhibitors and over 20 community-run stages and venues. This year, it will run from 27-28 June.
Since its inception, it has granted over $2.5million from proceeds to local, non-profit LGBT organisations and those working on issues regarding HIV/AIDS, cancer, homelessness and animal welfare.
It is sponsored by the likes of Bud Light, Alaska Airlines, T-Mobile, Smirnoff and Facebook among many others.