NH Pride Fest is being forced to nurture its slogan, "Unity through Community," after some in the LGBT community expressed concern that Chick-fil-A is sponsoring its event Saturday in Manchester.
The mixed messaging stems from – the only franchise in the state – offering his support. NH Pride Fest organizers underscored their position Monday and distanced themselves, yet again, from the corporation and its president and chief operating officer, Dan Cathy.
Join The Impact Massachusetts, in a blog post, waved some red flags and questioned if the corporation was engaging in "pinkwashing."
"NH Pride should not be used to pinkwash Chick-fil-A or any other corporation," JTIM admonished.
Ryan Hirsch, director of facilitation for NH Pride Fest, said his organization supports the boycott of Chick-fil-A because "giving money to Chick-fil-A is like giving money and weapons to an army that wants to see you imprisoned, or put to death."
In his response to the Join The Impact Massachusetts blog post, Hirsch said,
"We DO NOT in any way support Chick-Fil-A, but do support Anthony Picolia and his staff for trying to step away from the damage his company has done to our communities, and thank him for wanting to come out and support us. We too hope that Anthony will join us in asking Chick-Fil-A to not donate, directly or indirectly, to harming our communities. We also ask that individuals maintain the boycott against Chick-Fil-A. We will not however punish those trying to move past the hate of their organization and who may have an actual ability to effect change within the company."
Read his full response here.
NH Pride Fest has events from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Veterans Park in Manchester. Events include speakers at 2:30 p.m., a "puppy drag parade" at 3:30 p.m., and a "family friendly drag show" at 4 p.m.