Spartanburg Chamber to fly LGBT pride flag - FOX Carolina 21

Spartanburg Chamber to fly LGBT pride flag

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The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce has approved flying the rainbow flag at its headquarters, ahead of an LGBT march and festival taking place in the city.

Chamber officials told FOX Carolina that the flag will be up for 48 hours on the weekend of the Upstate Pride festival and march, which is set for Sept. 13 in downtown Spartanburg and at Barnet Park.

"This is a position saying we're welcoming to all and we will not exclude any," said Chamber CEO Allen Smith.

The Chamber has made a point of saying that the flag-raising is a sign that Spartanburg is a socially progressive place.

Mayor Junie White has taken part in the Upstate Pride festivities for several years now and festival officials said every little bit of it has been noticed and welcome by the region's LGBT community.

"I think it really makes a difference to see that we're like anyone else. We're more alike than we are different," said Upstate Pride's Tanna Thompson.

There is some opposition to the Chamber's plan, however.

One business owner told FOX Carolina that the Chamber's plans led him to cancel his membership.  "It no longer reflects my values," he said.

That business owner did not wish to be identified because he said he feared "being attacked for (his) religious beliefs" but said that many others in the town feel the same way.

"We have had some phone calls from some private citizens and I completely respect and understand their principles and positions," said Smith. "We're not in the business of making judgements on lifestyles. We're in the business of growing business."

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