Parade Organizers Succumb to Political Pressure
from Pro-abortion Forces
Grand Rapids, MI – Last night, after 10 p.m., the National Cherry Festival revoked approval for the Grand Traverse Area Teens for Life to march in this evening’s National Cherry Festival Parade to take place today at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Traverse City.
The group has marched in the parade for years either registered under its own name or with another like-minded organization. While the organization is in receipt of an approval to be part of the parade as a community organization, the parade organizer indicated she has received threats including personal threats which prompted organizers to cancel the teens’ participation. Parade organizers indicated they called local law enforcement. Now organizers are citing a “clerical error” as the reason the teens were permitted to join the parade.
“We are appalled that our next generation is being denied the chance to join their town in the annual Cherry Festival Parade, all in the name of intimidation and harassment and now a supposed clerical error,” stated Emily Hollabaugh, Director of Grand Traverse Area Right to Life. “Our students look forward to peacefully walking with their community just as every other group who was approved gets the right to do so. We are proud of our students for being willing to outwardly march for life and we will continue to support them.”
State Senator John Damoose, 37th District, Chairman of the Michigan Senate Prolife Caucus said “The Community Royale Parade and the National Cherry Festival are supposed to just be fun. The Traverse City Teens for Life were excited to be part of the festivities. These kids worked hard and made big plans for the parade with entertainment and custom t-shirts. Then, at the last minute – more than 5 weeks after being approved – they were cancelled because of political pressure. Once again, grown up problems and politics are ruining things for our kids.”
Right to Life of Michigan calls on the parade organizers to honor their prior commitment and allow the teens to peacefully walk and advocate for a life ethic that characterizes the best of our communities.