One of the primary donors to this year’s SMTX Pride Parade and Festival was a local church.
San Marcos Unitarian Universalist Fellowship showed its support of the LBGTQIA community by donating to the event. Additionally, the institution lends its facilities to monthly meetings of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
Sylvia Sandoval Hernandez, executive organizer of SMTX Pride, said she received a $650 donation from SMUUF this year and a $550 contribution last year.
Hernandez said she grew up in San Marcos and has noticed a change in the community’s attitude toward the LGBTQIA community.
“I think it (has sunk) in already,” Hernandez said. “There’s a little bit more acceptance.”
Hernandez said she is already planning for next year’s SMTX Pride and gives credit to SMUUF for encouraging her to bring the celebration to a new level.
“They’re the reason why I started San Marcos Pride,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said the church has proven that it consists of good people because its members have volunteered and donated money toward the cause of spreading LGBTQIA awareness and acceptance both years that SMTX Pride has occurred.
Chitah Daniels Kennedy, co-host to the SMTX Pride show at Stonewall Warehouse, is a drag performer who partakes in “any and all LGBTQIA events.”
“They always march in the parade, have a booth at Pride, and are always involved in all LGBTQ events that happen,” Kennedy said. “The church is one of the few groups that has raised that awareness of having more acceptance for the LGBTQ communities.”
Kennedy said SMUUF is heavily involved in the Bobcat Pride scholarship, a program that supports LGBTQIA Texas State students of all minorities, sexualities and gender identities by providing financial support in order to promote the retention of an “underrepresented” community.
The church has a monthly offering where members can donate money for nonprofit organizations such as the Bobcat Pride Scholarship Fund, said Scottie McIntyre Johnson, minister of the SMUUF.
Since 2012, SMUUF has donated $3,600 to the Bobcat Pride Scholarship Fund, she said.
The church has shown support for the LGBTQIA community for 30 years and Johnson said he is happy to see a “positive change” in society.
“The rapid pace of change is phenomenal,” Johnson said. “People have a right to not approve, but (the legalization of same-sex marriage) is not an attack on marriage, it’s supporting it.”
Follow Autumn Wright on Twitter @autumnwright697.