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Drag queens and permit concerns at the center of Naples Pride discussion

Posted at 3:54 PM, Feb 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-16 10:44:07-05

NAPLES, Fla. — On Wednesday, the fate of Naples Pride was left hanging in the balance after some people who gathered outside city hall said, supporters of the event are sexualizing children by allowing drag queens at the event.

On Feb 1, Naples City Council members met to approve a list of public events including Naples Pride.

Council members unanimously voted to postpone that approval because they said the permit for the event was not filled out correctly.

The council members stated that they needed more information on things such as bathroom access, security plans, the overall size of the event as well as its impact on the city.

Other council members expressed concerns over allowing drag queens to perform at the event, a conversation that carried over into today.

“My hope today is that the city council rethinks their decision of last year,” said Priscilla Gray.

Others in attendance at the city council meeting on Wednesday like Tony Fisher hoped for a different outcome.

“The event itself is a wonderful celebration of love and life,” said Fisher.

Council member Terry Hutchison during the meeting on February 1 said drag queens are sending the wrong message to children.

“This is exposing sexually explicit activities to children, I'm not okay with that,” said Hutchison.

However, Tony Fisher a supporter of the parade disagreed with Hutchison's statement.

"The drag portions of that are fun, they are a way for individuals to express their own identity and that's what this is all about," said Fisher.

On Wednesday, Naples City Council heard public comment from both sides but left it at that, eventually saying the next time they would revisit the approval of the permit for Naples Pride is March 1.

The City of Naples did provide the following statement:

Staff are working together with the event organizer to ensure questions/concerns about their application, as discussed during the City Council meeting on February 1, 2023, are addressed. The organizer will then have the opportunity to provide the requested information at the City Council Meeting on March 1, 2023, so a decision can be made.
City of Naples