Cherry-picking and distasteful discrimination

Cherry-picking and distasteful discrimination

Cherry-picking and distasteful discrimination

A pro-life spokesperson says this month's cherry festival went sour for a group of teenagers.

The National Cherry Festival, one of the country's largest and most popular festivals, is held each year in Traverse City, Michigan, and the eight-day event is capped off by a Community Royale Parade in which Grand Traverse Area Right to Life's teenage group had permission to walk this year.

Hollabaugh, Emily Hollabaugh

"We were revoked our approval the night before at about 11:00," spokeswoman Emily Hollabaugh reports. "Their reasoning was that we violated their rules … for the parade entries [that] there can be no social, political, or controversial group allowed to walk."

She says the teens were discouraged, especially after watching the parade the next day.

"There were social groups that were allowed to walk that night, and we weren't allowed," Hollabaugh laments, recalling that it was not difficult to recognize them as the parade advanced.

"They had signage with political activism slogans on them," she details. "They had pride flags and gear in their walking unit. We aren't saying one thing or another bad about these groups at all; we're just saying they were allowed to show what they wanted to show, and we weren't allowed to walk in there."

Hollabaugh points out that this viewpoint discrimination could be resolved if organizers of the National Cherry Festival officials would read the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Her group is considering its next step.