NewsPublic Affairs / June 13, 2016

'How Can They Believe Us When Something Like This Has Happened'

Organizers of Spencer Pride in rural, southern Indiana pay tribute to victims of the Orlando attack and contemplate the security of their own festival. terrorism, Orlando Pulse, mass shooting, Spencer, Spencer Pride Festival2016-06-13T00:00:00-04:00
'How Can They Believe Us When Something Like This Has Happened'

A makeshift memorial to victims of the Orlando attack hangs in the window of Spencer Pride in downtown Spencer, Indiana.

Barbara Brosher

SPENCER, Ind. -- An organization that hosts a large gay pride festival every year in the small community of Spencer says it’s important for the LGBTQ community to stand together in the wake of the Orlando shooting.

A makeshift memorial to the victims hangs in the front window of Spencer Pride’s downtown headquarters. The colorful tapestry reads “in memory of those who have gone before us” with a bright rainbow underneath.

It’s a tribute to the victims of the tragedy in Orlando, which comes just one week after the Spencer Pride festival celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Spencer Pride secretary Judi Epp says it’s hard not to feel scared after the shooting.

"We tell people they can come to our festival and feel safe in rural, southern Indiana," she says. "How can they believe us when something like this has happened?"

The Spencer Police Department provides security during Spencer Pride and has long been an ally of the LGBTQ community. Chief Richard Foutch says they’ll likely have to increase security at upcoming public events.

"I think anytime any type of terroristic actions happen, any kind of hate crimes happen, I think it kind of ups our game for anything we have coming up in the future," Foutch says.

A vigil to honor the victims of the Orlando attack is planned for Tuesday at the courthouse in neighboring Monroe County.



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