BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) From a mayoral campaign announcement to a protest, Beckley’s first Pride Celebration had a few surprises.
More than 60 vendors turned out for a day of music, celebration, and fellowship.
During the festivities at the Beckley Intermodal Gateway, Human Rights Commission Chair Danielle Stewart announced her bid for Mayor in 2020. Another commission member, Kelly Elkins, announced she will run for the city’s fourth ward.
A couple protesters arrived around 1 p.m. bearing signs in protest of the pride movement. As more officers arrived on scene, a man attending the celebration threw a drink in the face of one of the protesters. He was taken away handcuffs by Beckley Police Department, but at this point, it is unclear whether he will be charged.
The protesters did not stop the celebration, though. Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold, Councilman Tom Sopher, Councilwoman Ann Worley, Councilman-at-Large Tim Berry, and Councilwoman-at-Large Sherrie Hunter all turned out Saturday to show their support.
Just months earlier, the same council members passed a landmark ordinance protecting the LGBTQ community from housing and employment discrimination.