North Carolina's Jewish Community Angered After Gay Pride Parade Is Set for Yom Kippur

Organizers promise to find a solution but have yet to change the date

File photo: Crowds line the street as they watch Chicago Pride Parade, Sunday, June 25, 2017.
File photo: Crowds line the street as they watch Chicago Pride Parade, Sunday, June 25, 2017. G-Jun Yam/AP

Organizers of North Carolina’s gay pride parade and festival said they would find a solution following complaints from the Jewish community about the event being scheduled for Yom Kippur.

“We’re going to solve that no matter what it takes,” organizer John Short told The Herald-Sun on Thursday. “Exactly how we’ll solve that we don’t know.”

Short said the Durham Pride parade’s volunteer organizing committee had Jewish members but it still had not realized the scheduling conflict. He added that “all the Jewish community will be able to attend” the event.

“We’ll develop a solution that will be able to be carried over in the future,” Short said.

Organizers had apologized for scheduling the parade for Sept. 30 but did not change the date. They said the parade has been held on the last Saturday of September for the past 17 years.

The Jewish community had expressed disappointment and anger at the scheduling of the parade for Yom Kippur.

“It’s another example of our calendar not being respected,” said Adam Organ, executive director of the Raleigh-Cary Jewish Community Center. There are about 15,000 Jewish households in the Raleigh area.

Several Jewish groups have marched in the parade in recent years.

Carolina Jews for Justice said in a statement: “No group of people, Jewish or otherwise, should have to choose between our LGBTQ identities and the other identities that are important to us and shape our lives.”

The conflict comes on the heels of an incident last month at the Chicago Dyke march in which three Jewish women were asked to leave over their Jewish Pride flags, which include a Star of David in the center of a rainbow flag. Organizers said that the stars could be interpreted as support for Zionism, which they reject.