Hey "Halloween Capital of the World": Don't bar anti-bullying gay kids group from your Halloween parade!
  • Petitioned Anoka

This petition was delivered to:

Anoka
Anoka Halloween Parade Committee
J. McFarland
Anoka Halloween Parade Committee
Anoka

Hey "Halloween Capital of the World": Don't bar anti-bullying gay kids group from your Halloween parade!

    1. Rebecca Krone
    2. Petition by

      Rebecca Krone

      Anoka, MN

My town of Anoka, Minnesota is the Halloween Capital of the World. Each year we host a huge Halloween Parade attended by thousands of people from all over the area. The parade and the Halloween Festival were founded with the goals of showcasing youth and community.

This year, an organization called “Justin’s Gift” that supports and affirms LGBT youth, have been told they cannot march in the parade.  I am starting this petition to urge the Anoka Halloween Parade Committee to change their minds and allow the youth of Justin’s Gift to walk in the community's annual Halloween Parade on Saturday, October 27th.  

Anoka is also known for something more somber -- we are at the heart of the communities that suffered a rash of LGBT youth suicides that drew national attention. One of the young men who took his own life was named Justin Aaberg. Because Justin was gay, he was continually bullied, and once even sexually assaulted while attending Anoka High School. After his tragic death, his mother, Tammy, started an organization called “Justin’s Gift” that provides empowering programs and events for LGBT youth and their ally friends.

As a mom and also a paraprofessional who works with special needs youth in the Anoka-Hennepin Schools, I know just how much we need a positive and empowering message for our community’s youth.

The youth of the organization chose the theme “Favorite Fairy Tale Characters” and submitted their application to march in the parade on time and were still denied. The guidelines only state that there is a max per group and an application deadline – Justin’s Gift easily met both these guidelines. The only reason the committee will give is that there were “too many marchers.” But nowhere on the application form or website does it state that there is a limit to the number of walkers in the parade. The committee refuses to elaborate on why Justin’s Gift was denied.

This may all seem trivial to an outsider, but it means a lot to these kids to be able to walk as a group and celebrate who they are. It means even more that they are part of a positive organization that is working to make every kid feel safe and loved for who they are.

Participating in this parade is a way to help this community start to heal. Please join me  to ask the Anoka Halloween Parade Committee to send a better message to LGBT youth and everyone outside of Anoka.

Let Justin’s Gift march!

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 100,000 signatures
    2. AMAZING!!! :)

      Rebecca Krone
      Petition Organizer

      WOW!!!! I am soo amazed but all the support!! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

    3. Reached 50,000 signatures
    4. Believe

      Rebecca Krone
      Petition Organizer

      Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you greater than any obstacle.

    5. Reached 3,000 signatures
    6. Thank you to all the supporters~~~

      Rebecca Krone
      Petition Organizer

      We fear rejection, want attention, crave affection, and dream of perfection."~~~

      I don't need perfect people in my life, I just want to be around people that love me and people that can make me happy ♥

    7. Justin's Gift

      Rebecca Krone
      Petition Organizer

      Please feel free to check out Justin's Gift website:
      http://www.justinsgift.org/index.html

      Justin's Gift: A Safe Place for Youth

      HALLOWEEN PARADE UPDATE (8:20pm 10/10) Recently Justin's Gift announced we were not accepted into the Anoka Halloween Parade. We did not speculate on the motives of the committee, we simply made a statement about the application denial and provided what little information we were given.

    8. UPDATE 10/11/2012

      Rebecca Krone
      Petition Organizer

      This is the response we received from the Halloween Commitee.....
      "At this time we are unable to accept your application for the parade," the letter said. ‘We have reached our maximum for walking units. However, the application for the parade license was not submitted until 10/10/2012 — 15 days AFTER Justin's Gift was denied and told the parade was full. The application was submitted to the city of Anoka by Elizabeth McFarland who would not return a call seeking comment. Anoka Police Chief Philip Johanson said he is not aware of any official limits! Justin’s Gift application was submitted well within the application deadline date!
      Link to full Minnesota Public Radio at
      http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/10/10/news/anoka-halloween-parade-folo/

      Anoka Halloween parade rejects gay-lesbian youth group

      The Anoka Halloween committee finds itself in a dust-up for doing what it says it always does: reject groups that want to march in its annual parade. This year, though, officials' silence about why a group of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual kids were turned away has some questioning its selection criteria.

    9. Reached 2,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Bruce Steeves SACRAMENTO, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      Bully and discrimination are horrible things. Our daughter was bullied not just by kids but also by adults since she was 3. Any bullying is wrong and our family will support victims and their families.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kailyn Steward SPOKANE, WA
      • over 1 year ago

      Gay kids should not be discriminated against.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Irene Heitsch AUSTIN, TX
      • over 1 year ago

      I guess the parade organizers are on the side of the bulllies. Sad.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Martin A. West EL DORADO, KS
      • over 1 year ago

      Please prove to the world that you choose to be a positive example and allow the anti- bullying gay kids to march in your Halloween Parade!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Atiya Hasam-Johnson KANSAS CITY, MO
      • over 1 year ago

      We are all human...we are born beautiful ...do not gave up the fight...stay strong...you are loved

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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