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The Journal Gazette

  • Patricia Yoloanda Weave, left, thanks Erin Bailey for organizing the first-ever Columbus Pride Festival in downtown Columbus, Ind., Saturday, April 14, 2018. Bailey, a senior at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School, organized the festival as part of her senior project. The Indiana high school student organized what's believed to be the first gay pride festival in Vice President Mike Pence's hometown. (Mike Wolanin /The Republic via AP)

  • Festivalgoers cheer as August Celestial performs during a drag show at the first-ever Columbus Pride Festival in downtown Columbus, Ind., Saturday, April 14, 2018. The festival was organized by Erin Bailey, a senior at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School, for her senior project. The Indiana high school student organized what's believed to be the first gay pride festival in Vice President Mike Pence's hometown. (Mike Wolanin /The Republic via AP)

  • Leila Cusack, left, hands a tip to Mocha Debeauté during a drag show at the first-ever Columbus Pride Festival in downtown Columbus, Ind., Saturday, April 14, 2018. The festival was organized by Erin Bailey, a senior at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School, for her senior project. The Indiana high school student organized what's believed to be the first gay pride festival in Vice President Mike Pence's hometown. (Mike Wolanin /The Republic via AP)

  • Madame Marvelous, left, and Joe Varga blow bubbles while dancing at the first-ever Columbus Pride Festival in downtown Columbus, Ind., Saturday, April 14, 2018. The festival was organized by Erin Bailey, a senior at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School, for her senior project. The Indiana high school student organized what's believed to be the first gay pride festival in Vice President Mike Pence's hometown. (Mike Wolanin /The Republic via AP)

  • Spencer Powell, of Bloomfield, Ind., takes part in the first-ever Columbus Pride Festival in downtown Columbus, Ind., Saturday, April 14, 2018. The festival was organized by Erin Bailey, a senior at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School, for her senior project. The Indiana high school student organized what's believed to be the first gay pride festival in Vice President Mike Pence's hometown. (Mike Wolanin /The Republic via AP)

  • Lydia Ferril, from left, Raven Brown and Grace Brown wave rainbow flags as they watch a drag show during the first-ever Columbus Pride Festival in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, April 14, 2018. The festival was organized by Erin Bailey, a senior at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School, for her senior project. An Indiana high school student organized what's believed to be the first gay pride festival in Vice President Mike Pence's hometown. (Mike Wolanin /The Republic via AP)

  • Kerrigan Anthony, left, watches as Erin Bailey smiles as Bailey is recognized for organizing the first-ever Columbus Pride Festival in downtown Columbus, Ind., Saturday, April 14, 2018. Bailey, a senior at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School, organized the festival as part of her senior project. The Indiana high school student organized what's believed to be the first gay pride festival in Vice President Mike Pence's hometown. (Mike Wolanin /The Republic via AP)

  • Sister Creama Tory, left, and Sister Merry Go Round, with the Derby City Sisters out of Louisville, Ky., take part in the first-ever Columbus Pride Festival in downtown Columbus, Ind., Saturday, April 14, 2018. The festival was organized by Erin Bailey, a senior at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School, for her senior project. The Indiana high school student organized what's believed to be the first gay pride festival in Vice President Mike Pence's hometown. (Mike Wolanin /The Republic via AP)

  • Ginger PerÃłn performs during a drag show at the first-ever Columbus Pride Festival in downtown Columbus, Ind., Saturday, April 14, 2018. The festival was organized by Erin Bailey, a senior at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School, for her senior project. The Indiana high school student organized what's believed to be the first gay pride festival in Vice President Mike Pence's hometown. (Mike Wolanin /The Republic via AP)

Monday, April 16, 2018 12:00 pm

More than 2,000 attend gay pride event in Pence's hometown

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ind. -- A gay pride festival in Vice President Mike Pence's Indiana hometown attracted more than 2,000 revelers who watched bands and drag queens perform.

Saturday's festival in Columbus was believed to be a first for the city about 50 miles south of Indianapolis. The event was organized by local high school senior Erin Bailey, who identifies as bisexual.

Bailey told The (Columbus) Republic she's thrilled that between 2,000 and 3,000 people converged on Columbus' downtown for the festival that featured bands, vendors and a drag queen competition.

Pence, who's a conservative Christian, grew up in Columbus. He signed a 2015 law as Indiana's governor that created a legal defense for businesses that objected to serving the LGBTQ community. Lawmakers changed that law after it provoked a national backlash and boycott threats.