User Name:


FAQ Donate Join


ACA at the Pride Festival, June 14, 2008
Equality Texas hosted the 2008 Pride Festival on Saturday, June 14 this year at Auditorium Shores, just north of the new Long Center. The festival is a community-building event primarily for the gay and lesbian community in Austin. It has grown up in recent years with thousands of participants, eight bands, and 130 vendors and organizations. The ACA has participated in the event for over four years.

While there has been some controversy along the way, the ACA has embraced gay rights as primarily a church-state separation issue. We view the freedom to marry as one of many freedoms and rights granted to all citizens as the natural consequence of true equality and the complete separation of church and state. Our nation has made great strides toward ensuring equal rights for women and minorities, yet true equality remains elusive and some segments of our population remain "fair game" for bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination. Gays and atheists are among those minorities.

The Pride Festival is also a great opportunity to gain visibility in a setting where most of the participants are progressive and more likely to be receptive to our message. Other like-minded groups had booths at the festival, including the ACLU and Texas Freedom Network. Our very presence sends a message that we exist and that we are happy to come out in support of others. While the ACA has been active and visible in Austin for eleven years, there are still a lot of people who are surprised that we exist. Community events like this give us a chance to interact with those people and tell them a little about what we do as a group.

At the booth this year, we interacted with dozens of people who ranged from hard-core atheist to those who were just curious. We were happy to share information about our group, our Austin Atheist newsletter, a press release that we issued in support of same-sex marriage, and fun items like bumper stickers. It is possible that some of our visitors will become members.

Our participation in the Pride Festival would not be possible without the enthusiastic support of ACA members. This year we had nine volunteers: Matt Dillahunty, John Iacoletti, Shelley Roberts, Shilling Sythe, Mike, Cody Casterline, and Steve Elliott. The event was organized by Don Baker. A special thanks goes to the Atheist Longhorns, who loaned us their canopy for the event.


Setting up: Shelley, John, and Shilling.

John talks with a visitor at the booth.

Don (squinting from the sun), Matt, Cody, and John (hidden by a passer-by).

Mike and those dangerous women.

John checking out those dangerous women. Hey, there are enough to go around!

Manning the booth: Don, Cody, and John.

Food vendor row.

A view of downtown from our booth.

A crowd shot from our booth.

A full house late in the day: Matt, Jennifer, Cody, Jen & Alex, John, and Steve.

Follow us on:

twitter facebook meetup