For media inquiries, or follow up questions to statements, please contact Marketing Director Rachel Polan at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a text to 605-681-6630.
Sioux Falls Pride Official Statement
Float Denial & Safety at Pride 2023
Sioux Falls Pride Statement Regarding “Rescue the Perishing” Organization and Safety at June 10th Events
Sioux Falls, SD --
On April 25th, 2023, Sioux Falls Pride Parade Coordinator & Board Secretary Cody Ingle received a message from Paul Dorr, the leader of an organization called Rescue the Perishing. The message was an inquiry as to whether his organization would be allowed to have an entry in the Sioux Falls Pride Parade that would, in his words, include banners “publicly confessing and repenting to God and younger generations our sins of indifference to the sexual revolution the past two generations.”
Sioux Falls Pride’s mission includes: “Serv[ing] the LGBTQIA2S+ community in Sioux Falls and the surrounding areas by fostering growth, inclusivity and equality to our proud members and allies.” (Full mission statement at https://www.siouxfallspride.org/pages/our-mission-and-history )
Since Paul’s request was directly in contradiction with the Sioux Falls Pride organizational mission, his request was politely denied. The transcripts of the conversation are attached below this statement for transparency.
On Thursday, June 8th, Paul contacted Interim President Jimmy Diaz, Secretary Cody Ingle, and Marketing Director Rachel Polan via email requesting a statement on what he called “Operation Elimination” and “organized efforts to shoot/kill Christians”.
After looking into the information Paul shared, Marketing Director Polan declined to make a statement, saying:
“Since there is no substantive proof of ‘Operation Elimination’ nor organizing within our community to kill anyone, Sioux Falls Pride does not have a statement at this time.”
Paul replied to this message with a request for condemnation of a specific t-shirt that he had included photos of in his first message. The shirt, likely created by the Trans Radical Activist Network, featured the words “Trans Rights … or Else” above and below several images of rifles/gun silhouettes printed in light blue, light pink, and white color.
Sioux Falls Pride did not respond to this request as Polan had previously addressed this shirt in their email, saying:
“Due to first amendment rights, we cannot regulate how people dress. Sioux Falls Pride is not selling or promoting this design.”
A request for comment on a statement issued by Paul Dorr was received the morning of June 9th. The statement accused Sioux Falls Pride of being “heterophobic” among other accusations.
Sioux Falls Pride welcomes people of all identities that support the queer community. Mr. Dorr’s accusations do not account for his own homophobia, transphobia, and religious extremism. He clearly stated that his intention was to evangelize for his religious beliefs during our festival, and spread bigotry under the guise of prayer. His message and mission runs directly counter to that of Sioux Falls Pride, and our organization has exerted our right to refuse service (the service in this case being parade entry) to his organization.
Additionally, Dorr’s argument for inclusion was based on the idea that our organizers do not believe in his religion. Freedom of religion, including the freedom not to practice a religion, is a constitutional right.
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Dorr has opted to exert his freedom of assembly with his fellow “boomer Christian men” at the Sioux Falls Pride Parade. Our organization would like to ask all attendees to please put their own safety first and not engage with this group. They will likely attempt to engage attendees in conversation and hand out papers, especially to young people. If you feel unsafe at any time due to this group or anyone else, please report the situation to the private security hired for the event or event coordinators.
The Sioux Falls Pride Festival is scheduled for Saturday, June 10th at 8th and Railroad Center from 11am-5pm. The Pride Parade is scheduled at 10am and will travel down 8th Street from Dakota Avenue to the 8th and Railroad Center.
Recent Press Releases:
SFP Statement on Tennessee School Shooting -- Click here to download the full statement.
Safety at Pride 2022 -- Click to Download