There is a split in the plans for a Christmas parade in Taylor this year, after one of the organizations that typically hosts it changed the rules to exclude an LBGTQ group, and the City of Taylor, which has been a co-host, said it could not be a part of that.
The City of Taylor is hosting a parade at 7 p.m. on December 3rd, right after the 7 p.m. parade hosted by the Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance.
Nothing seems unusual in pictures and video of last year's Christmas parade in Taylor. It was, however, the first time Taylor Pride participated. “We entered our application process, explained what our float was going to be, and it was approved, literally within minutes,” recalled Pride co-founder Denise Rodgers.
It might be the last time it participates in a parade sponsored by the Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance. In a Facebook post, the Alliance said Pride's participation was "an unfortunate oversight on our part" and on this year's application -- said all entries must be consistent with traditional biblical and family values. But the city did not know about the change in the rules until Pride brought it to their attention.
“This year they've made it more exclusively Christian in nature and also specifically excluded some groups of people and the city definitely doesn't, not just from a legal standpoint, but from the standpoint that a city represents many people,” said Stacey Osborne, spokesperson for the city of Taylor. Osborne says the Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance is still holding its parade at 7 p.m. on December 3rd on the same parade route, but the city is no longer taking part. Instead, there is another, city-sponsored parade at 7 p.m. on December 3rd
ALSO | Rick Perry noncommittal about Trump run: 'Show me what you got'
“The majority of the people in the City of Taylor are pleased that we're having a parade that's open to everyone, we've had a lot of people reach out to us and thank us,” Osborne told us.
CBS Austin reached out to the Alliance both on Facebook and via email but have not heard back.
“We still planned to apply because the reality is the law and the rules are that since it’s a public event and it's being hosted on city property, they cannot exclude anyone, we all have the right to participate,” said Rodgers. But for now, Taylor Pride has applied to participate in the city parade, saying they just want to celebrate Christmas, despite being called out by the Alliance.
“Saying we would love for them to take Christ our of Christmas remove Christmas altogether, we are declaring war on Christmas,” Rodgers laughed. “None of that is true at all.”
The route for both parades is the same, along Main Street in Taylor.