March hopes to make strides for equality, pride in Flint - WNEM TV 5

March hopes to make strides for equality, pride in Flint

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Thousands of people around the country marched for pride this weekend, including in downtown Flint.

The march aimed to bring together and affirm members of the LGBTQ communities and their allies to highlight discrimination and call for expanding LGBTQ rights.

"It's basically to make people aware for the need for equality," Nicole Derusha-Mackey said. 

Derusha-Mackey with the equality caucus of Genesee County organized the march in Flint. She said it was a  day of visibility. Following the march, dozens of people gathered at St. Paul's Episcopal Church to discuss LGBTQ issues.

"We have made a lot of strides in the last decade but unfortunately especially based on the last election, we kind of feel like we have taken a step back," Derusha-Mackey said. 

Derusha-Mackey said they are addressing things like inclusion, access to resources, and justice. She said these are all common hurdles for people with nontraditional sexual and gender identities. 

Organizers said the unity march is also remembering those who died in the pulse night club shooting.

"At times members of our community are seen as lesser. I think today is a day that not only we are celebrating unity but also remembering those that we lost a year ago," Derusha-Mackey said. 

Many local supporters who participated in the march hope these demonstrations create a more accepting future. 

"We need more equality laws. Not just locally but nationally to protect the community," Renae Taylor said. 

"Maybe we can move into a more inclusive and loving world," Hunter Warram said. 

"It's nice to see we have this much support in our community," Derusha-Mackey said. 

Speakers for the event included State Rep. Tim Sneller, former Flint City Council Vice President Dale Weighill, Father Dan Scheid, and Nicole Derusha-Mackey. 

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