MIFFLINBURG, UNION COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The heat didn’t stop protestors in Mifflinburg, Union County Sunday.
A Pride Event was held in the borough, attracting more than 100 people. The Mifflinburg Pride Event in support of the LGBTQIA+ community began with about 25 people, but it quickly grew.
“We want to stand up against discrimination, bigotry mindsets. For me, an important part of the message is that LGBTQIA is not Biblically considered a sin,” organizer Victoria Matthews said.
People lined Chestnut Street holding signs and chanting, calling for justice and equality. Across the street, people who were part of an All Lives Matter protest took a stance as well. Geo Connolly, organizer of the All Lives Matter, says people just need to come together.
“We’re all Americans, you know. We need to stick together. This being pulled apart is for the birds. It’s not right,” Connolly said.
Matthews says she’s seen a rise in discrimination of the LGBTQIA community, especially towards teens. This pride event is a first step toward changing things.
“I’ve had so many parents and teenagers come to me and say ‘my kids are not going back because of this public school or that public school because they are being bullied’,” Matthews said.
“Our community never targeted anybody. We got the Mennonite, we got the Amish, we got every race, every color. We don’t need this here. We don’t need this here,” Connolly said.
Matthews says the pride event began as a response to a sign posted at a local grocery store.
“Saying, you know, that COVID was a disease and that the LGBTQIA is a community that spreads diseases,” Matthews said.
“They have a right of freedom of speech as anybody else. And we’re here to defend them,” Connolly said.
Protests remained peaceful, until a man was cited for harassment of one of the pride protestors. Police say no one was physically harmed.
While there was no permit issued for the Pride Event, police told Eyewitness News the protestors were acting within their First Amendment rights and could continue to do so as long as the group remained peaceful.