PHOTO: Front page newspaper story by Neil Zawicki, "Message: 'We are all equal' Pride March in downtown Albany attracts a crowd," Mid-Valley Sunday Gazette-Times Democrat-Herald, p. A1,A6 posted online Jul. 22, 2017 as "Albany's first Pride March attracts robust crowd" reports on the Pride March in the small town of Albany, Oregon that is across the river from Corvallis and Oregon State University. Historically, Albany has been a very conservative rural town with many blue collar citizens employed in logging and lumber mills, which is in contrast to Corvallis's population of college students and professors who are more analytically minded, although not as liberal as a typical college town. Also see video by Jessica Habjan, "Video: Pride In Albany," gazettetimes.com posted Jul 22, 2017.
One speaker at the march noted how far Linn County (where Albany, Oregon is located) has come from the days when an ordinance was passed that took away the rights of homosexuals. (The specific ordinance is not mentioned in the newspaper, but I guess the speaker may be talking about the anti-gay measures successfully passed by Oregon anti-gay groups, which have not been repealed and are still on the books, such as Oregon's ban on same-sex marriages that has been overruled by the U.S. Supremer Court decision.)
"There were 550 confirmed marchers Saturday at Albany's first Pride March, an organized demonstration meant as a show of support and unity for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. . .
Keith Kolkow organized the Albany event . . which began in front of the Albany City Hall. . . .
Notable in the crowd were at least a dozen representatives from the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Corvallis. Congregation member Ann Hawkins said Christianity and LGBT rights are one in the same. . .
The march comes on the heels of a contentious July 12 city council meeting . . .
"I think the council meeting last week went a long way to energize people," said march co-organizer Jerred Taylor. . .
The march kicked off, moving north up Broadalbin Street, with drums and rattling cow bells and marchers chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, homophobia's got to go!"
As the procession made its way west along First Avenue, the marchers stretched for two blocks, with the marchers shouting "Black, white, gay, straight -- love does not discriminate!" . . .
One person shouted from his car, "Damn faggots! Marching for what!?" but an Albany Police officer emerged from his patrol vehicle to encourage the heckler to move along, which he did. . .
Albany City Councilor Ray Kopczynski also marched. . ." (Quoted from Neil Zawicki, "Message: 'We are all equal' Pride March in downtown Albany attracts a crowd," Mid-Valley Sunday Gazette-Times Democrat-Herald, p. A1,A6 posted online Jul. 22, 2017 as "Albany's first Pride March attracts robust crowd")