Toledo Pride prepares for record crowd

Published: Aug. 16, 2019 at 4:48 PM EDT
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The Toledo Pride event kicks off the weekend with a record crowd expected.

Event organizer Lexi Hayman-Staples says "The first year we had 25-hundred people inside the Erie Street Market, which was amazing and a huge turn out and now we're to about 20-thousand over the weekend." Toledo is rising in the ranks as one of the most forward moving cities for the LGBTQ community. "I think that it's evidence just by the fact that we have this event, that there's so much progress in our city," says Hayman-Staples.

Nick Komives is a Toledo City Councilman and Interim Director of Equality Toledo. The Human Rights Campaign Is A National LGBTQ Rights Organization that scores cities for their climate each year. "About five years ago, we were at a 72 on that list and last year we scored a 103, so we actually got a better than perfect score," says Komives.

Komives says the city has stepped up to support the community, "That's because we've done things like added health care for trans folks who work for the city. We've expanded protections in employment and housing for LGBTQ people."

Toledo has added an LGBTQ Liaison to the police department as well. And moving forward, Equality Toledo is hoping to pave the way for more families to be foster parents. "They're looking for great foster homes, and they know that LGBTQ families are also great places for kids to live."