Welcome To Wausau, Wisconsin, The City That Killed Pride

Wausau-downtownSome of the world’s largest Pride festivals happened around the world last weekend, but there was one lonely town in Wisconsin that sadly went without. It was the cold soul of Wausau City Council member David Nutting that led a charge against the city’s first proposed Gay Pride parade, and unfortunately, he won.

Daxx Bouvier, the main organizer of the event, said he put forth $15,000 of his own money to put the plan in motion, but was immediately disheartened by overwhelmingly negative feedback during his monthlong battle with the City Council. His thick skin could take a verbal beating, but was no match for the talons of Nuttig’s opposition.

At a city meeting earlier last month, Nuttig delivered a speech that roasted the gay community as “deviant-behaving individuals” that would transform “a beautiful family-oriented park” into a den of iniquity.

A portion of Nuttig’s speech has been transcribed by Blue Cheddar (watch a video of the speech here, Nuttig’s remarks begin around 1:43:00):

“I represent an overwhelming majority of district 3 residents who oppose allowing a parade of deviant-behaving individuals to be escorted by public law enforcement members through the very heart of our family-oriented city to a beautiful family-oriented public park where no doubt their choice of indecent behavior will be on full display for influential children and the media to proclaim it worldwide. This isn’t speech. This is behavior. I ask that all residents stay away from the parade or if you do go, stand with your back to the parade of deviant-behaving individuals. I respectfully ask for our various media outlets to pay little or no attention to the parade just as you do to any other parade in this city…”

Bouvier told the Green Bay Press Gazette in a phone interview that “he was disappointed in comments made…by people he had never met.” Ultimately, he canceled the event because he feared for the safety of participants.

“I do feel a great sense of loss for the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community,” he said. “Canceling the parade has set Wausau back 30 years in the way people think about the gay community.”

Bouvier, whose primary residence is in California, says he never plans to organize another Pride event in Wausau. We sure hope someone takes Nuttig to task next year, because Wausau cannot be remembered as The City That Killed Pride, Population: 0 Fun.