September 26, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Info, Contact:
Executive Director, Pagan Pride Project
Membership Director, Pagan Pride Project
(Contact the project)
MISSISSIPPI PAGAN PRIDE PROJECT SUCCESSFUL DESPITE THREATS
The Pagan Pride Project would like to congratulate and pay a public thank you to the Local Coordinator and event organizing committee for the Pagan Pride Day celebration held on Sunday, September 22, 2002 in Tupelo, Mississippi. The LC and organizing committee dealt with several hurdles and cases of community prejudice with courage and resolve, exemplifying the true spirit of Pagan Pride.
Obstacles overcome included:
* The press release for the event being allegedly faxed to several community churches and the event venue by person or persons unknown, urging people to disrupt or stop the event;
* Physical threats of violence being made against the event;
* And attempts to have the venue for the celebration made unavailable due to allegedly unequal application of venue policy.
Nevertheless, Tupelo Pagan Pride 2002 did occur. 45 people celebrated their chosen spiritual path in a public location in Tupelo, and the event will return next year. We would like to express our admiration for Local Coordinator Khtari Ahnya’s courage. Standing up to such community prejudice is the real root of what Pagan Pride about, and for the first time one of our Local Coordinators was tested by real fire.
Pagan Pride would also like to thank the Mississippi Civil Liberties Union and Staff Attorney Sandi Farrell for invaluable help and counsel, and urges all supporters of religious liberty to support their local CLU.
When it comes down to it, the real work in Pagan Pride is done by the Local Coordinators who bring their communities together to be proud, courageous, and strong. Lady Khtari Ahnya and the Tupelo organizing committee is a shining example of that, and we're proud to have, in our small way, helped them show their Pagan Pride.