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LGBTQ Resource Center Excluded From Utah July 4 Parade

Parade organizers allegedly excluded the Provo-based LGBTQ organization Encircle because they decided the nonprofit was an advocacy group.
Participants at the Freedom Festival Grand Parade on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 in Provo, Utah.Dominic Valente / AP
/ Source: Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah LGBTQ resource center says it was excluded from participating in a July Fourth parade in the city of Provo because organizers decided the nonprofit was an advocacy group.

Stephenie Larsen, executive director of the Provo-based nonprofit Encircle, says organizers of the America’s Freedom Festival parade in Provo told her Monday that her group could not participate.

Larsen told The Salt Lake Tribune Tuesday that her organization is not an advocacy group but a resource center for gay, lesbian and transgender teens.

RELATED: Utah Moves to Toss School Ban on 'Advocacy of Homosexuality'

America’s Freedom Festival is a private, nonprofit that’s faced criticism in the past for allowing incumbent office holders, generally Republicans, to participate in parades but not their political challengers and for naming conservative talk show hosts Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck to lead the nonprofit’s fireworks show.

Parade organizers did not return messages from the Associated Press on Tuesday.

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