Updated: Religious group denied float entry in Sioux Falls Pride parade

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 11:53 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - An Iowa-based religious group has claimed the Sioux Falls Pride parade is “heterophobic” after being denied a float entry, and says they have alerted the Sioux Falls Police Department.

On Friday, a group called Rescue the Perishing released a statement claiming that on behalf of the Christian ministry, Paul Dorr contacted Sioux Falls Pride in April to see if they could qualify to enter a float for the June 10th Pride parade.

Sioux Falls Pride confirmed they were reached out to by Dorr on April 25th. In his inquiry, Dorr stated that Rescue the Perishing’s entry would include banners “publicly confessing and repenting to God and younger generations our sins of indifference to the sexual revolution the past two generations.”

Copies of the email communications were provided to Dakota News Now by Sioux Falls Pride. In the copies obtained, Sioux Falls Pride Secretary Cody Ingle responded to Dorr, writing “If you are non-affirming (i.e. you do not affirm LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit individuals), you are not welcome in the parade... Sioux Falls Pride does not allow any non-affirming organizations to be a part of our festival.”

Rescue the Perishing is a self-proclaimed group of “boomer” men who range from age 65-80. The group’s website asks for forgiveness as they “were silent on sexual sin for too long.”

Dorr stated he appealed the denial to Sioux Falls Pride, writing “We are pro-affirming the Biblical commands for sexual relations and are genuinely sorrowful for letting your generations get corrupted back, in many cases, when you were kids. We should have fought for your generations. We would like to confess our sins of silence and affirm that hope in Christ to the young young on the parade route.”

Sioux Falls Pride maintains in a statement that since Dorr’s request “was directly in contradiction with the Sioux Falls Pride organizational mission, his request was politely denied.”

Now, Rescue the Perishing is claiming that Sioux Falls Pride is non-inclusive and “heterophobic,” and they plan to line the parade route to “call the homosexuals and others lost in sexual sin to repent and turn to Christ.”

Rescue the Perishing stated that they also asked Sioux Falls Pride to “take a strong public stand against the growing violence coming against Christians by trans terrorists,” alluding to a group called Operation Elimination. After Sioux Falls Pride did not adhere to the request, the group claims they alerted the Sioux Falls Police Department.

Sioux Falls Pride also provided emails of that exchange, which occurred June 8th. After investigating resources provided by Dorr on the matter, Sioux Falls Pride stated, “since there is no substantive proof of ‘Operation Elimination’ nor organizing within our community to kill anyone, Sioux Falls Pride does not have a statement at this time.”

Sioux Falls Pride is advising attendees of the parade to take caution.

“Sioux Falls Pride welcomes people of all identities that support the queer community. Mr. Dorr’s accusations do not account for his own homophobia, transphobia, and religious extremism. He clearly stated that his intention was to evangelize for his religious beliefs during our festival, and spread bigotry under the guise of prayer. His message and mission runs directly counter to that of Sioux Falls Pride, and our organization has exerted our right to refuse service (the service in this case being parade entry) to his organization.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Dorr has opted to exert his freedom of assembly with his fellow “boomer Christian men” at the Sioux Falls Pride Parade. Our organization would like to ask all attendees to please put their own safety first and not engage with this group. They will likely attempt to engage attendees in conversation and hand out papers, especially to young people. If you feel unsafe at any time due to this group or anyone else, please report the situation to the private security hired for the event or event coordinators.”

Sioux Falls Pride

The Sioux Falls Pride parade begins at 10 a.m. on June 10th, and the route begins on 8th street and Main Avenue.