TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) — Taylor Pride says protesters stood with “hateful” signs outside its family movie night last Saturday. One sign accused the LGBTQ group of “grooming” children.
The group was allegedly made of members from the Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance (TAMA), an association of local churches in and around Taylor.
KXAN has reached out to representatives of TAMA and has yet to receive a response, confirming or denying if protesters are affiliated with the group.
Denise Rodgers, president of Taylor Pride, said in a statement that these protesters are with TAMA, and a similar group had protested a family movie night featuring ‘Hocus Pocus’ last month.
She also refuted the claim that the pride group is trying to “groom” children.
Rodgers said she is saddened by the alleged “harassment” from TAMA, but said the actions of this group are not reflective of the larger Taylor community’s beliefs.
“I do not think that the animosity towards the LGBTQ community is growing in Taylor, I think it’s just the opposite! More and more people are embracing diversity and are acting as great allies to our community. It is one very specific group that has growing animosity towards our community in Taylor,” Rodgers said in a statement.
The City of Taylor said a police officer did respond to the protest but did not intervene. The city also said the demonstration lasted around one hour, and ended with no incident or arrests.
Last week, KXAN reported on division created in Taylor after TAMA changed its entry rules for this year’s parade, essentially barring Taylor Pride from participating.
The church-affiliated group has long hosted the annual parade, but was criticized for the rule change which specified that applicants should align with ‘traditional family values.’
In an effort to include Taylor Pride and those that may not celebrate Christmas, the City of Taylor, which had formerly partnered with TAMA for the yearly parade, announced it would host its own holiday festivities including its own parade.
According to a spokesperson for the City of Taylor, both parades are still slated for the same time and place as one another on December 3.
The city said it does not expect any trouble at the weekend festivities and that police officers will be on hand, per usual, for crowd control and security.