Indiana News

Pence, Ritz send welcome letters to Indy Pride

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Less than three months after signing the religious freedom law, Governor Pence sent a welcome letter ahead of this year’s circle city pride festival.

The governor joined a selection of mostly democratic officials in sending welcome letters. Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz was one of them, who sent her letter on “Glenda Ritz for Governor 2016” letterhead.

“We were really surprised to receive it especially with the letterhead that was on top which announced Glenda Ritz for Governor,” said Indy Pride president Chris Morehead. “It’s wonderful for anybody to send a letter, especially someone that appears to be aspiring for the seat of governor.”

The event is arguably the most welcoming festival Indianapolis has to offer with a guest list that pushed more than 90,000 people last year.

But before Circle City IN Pride flows proudly through the streets, all of those visitors typically get a warm welcome from state and local leaders.

Scott Pelath, Timothy Lanane, and Zach Adamson also sent letters which are posted on the organization’s website.

This year’s pride festival comes on the heels of the RFRA fallout. Governor Pence made no mention of the controversy. This is the first welcome letter he’s sent to the group.

His letter assured visitors they would experience quote “famous Hoosier hospitality” during their stay.

And encouraged them to take full advantage of the city’s attractions.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence also sent a letter to Pride:

Indy Pride President Chris Morehead said the organization asked for a letter, but was surprised they got it.

“We definitely weren’t holding our breath, I’ll put it that way, but definitely are appreciative that the governor did take the time out of his schedule to draft a letter and send it to us,” said Morehead.

But he also said the governor’s welcome was a little lukewarm.

“We definitely wish it had been a little bit more specific in nature. Much more like the letters we received in the past from Governor Daniels that speaks specifically to the LGBT community here and how open and welcoming and the wonderful work that Indy Pride definitely does year-round as well as during the festival week,” said Morehead.

Indy Pride officially begins on Friday. The biggest event is the festival, which draws upward of a hundred thousand people. It’s being held on Saturday, June 13 on the American Legion Mall downtown.