Indiana Governor Mike Pence has issued
a brief letter welcoming attendees of Indianapolis' 9-day LGBT Pride
Indy Pride kicks off Friday with a
performance by Lady Bunny, the legendary founder of Wigstock, and
runs through Saturday, June 13. Leading Saturday's parade will be
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.
Earlier this week, Chris Morehead,
president of Indy Pride, Inc., which organizes the yearly event, told
media outlets that Pence, a Republican, had not sent a welcome letter
to his group.
governor's letter, shared on Wednesday, was most notable for what
it overlooked, in particular a mention of Indiana's LGBT community or
the event's purpose.
Pence instead welcomed visitors by
saying that he was confident they will come to know the state's
“famous Hoosier Hospitality” and suggested visits to the
Indianapolis Zoo and White River State Park.
The Indiana Democratic Party described
the letter as “just another bland, ill-fated, and out of touch
attempt at trying to restore his favorability after he nearly
destroyed Indiana's reputation,” a reference to Pence's support for
a so-called religious freedom law that opponents claimed would allow
businesses to discriminate against gay couples. After various
businesses threatened to boycott the state, Pence asked lawmakers to
rewrite the bill to include LGBT protections.