Sex Offenders Resign From Pride Festival

Police, Community Groups Threatened To Boycott Event

Two volunteers and a staffer for the annual San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Festival have agreed to resign after police and community groups threatened to boycott the event because the men are registered sex offenders.

The Pride board, which has met on the matter four times, also agreed this week to institute new screening procedures for volunteers and staff who work the event, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The criminal pasts of the two volunteers were disclosed two weeks ago by James Hartline, a conservative Christian activist who opposes the Pride festival, the Union-Tribune reported.

The staffer later admitted to the Pride director that he also was a sex offender, the Union-Tribune reported.

After learning of the men's criminal records, the Pride board initially decided to allow them to continue to work the event.

However, gay organizations and local politicians, including Deputy Mayor Toni Atkins, urged the Pride board to reconsider, the Union-Tribune reported.

The Pride festival is an annual celebration for thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents. It will start Friday with a rally in Balboa Park.

A parade through Hillcrest is scheduled for Saturday, followed by a festival Saturday and Sunday at Marston Point in Balboa Park.

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