Many Laramie residents stepped out to celebrate the second annual Laramie PrideFest at the first Laramie Pride March.

Residents gathered at the downtown plaza with signs, rainbow flags and face paint to listen to a number of guest speakers including Robert West, founder and organizer of the Laramie PrideFest and Mayor Andi Summerville before heading off on the march.

Summerville kicked off the march and said that Laramie should be proud to set an example in Wyoming, saying that Laramie was the first city in Wyoming with a non-discrimination ordinance, which was passed in 2015. Summerville said a number of cities are now looking to pass similar ordinances, including Jackson, where she said the city council just passed their first reading of a non-discrimination ordinance.

"It is always said that one voice is easy to stomp out but the voice of a community is truly unstoppable and that's what everyone has demonstrated in Laramie today," Summerville said.

The march also had a special emphasis on immigration, with a number of speakers addressing issues with the United States current immigration system, including Travis Helm, an immigration attorney and U.S. House of Representatives candidate.

Helm said immigration was an intersectional issue, as many people seeking asylum in the U.S. were fleeing persecution and threats for being an LGBTQ person in their home countries.

"These are not separate issues," Helm said.

Helm said that as an immigration attorney, he helped many same sex couples who were seeking asylum and feared persecution and even death in their native countries.

The march is followed by the Pride in the Park celebration in Washington Park until 7 p.m. Saturday.




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