Prizm News / August 26, 2018 / By Bob Vitale
Stephanie offered hugs and hope to Akron Pride marchers from her front lawn along the parade route on Market Street.

Eleven religious groups and places of worship took part in Saturday’s march and festival.


By Bob Vitale

About 2,000 people walked down Market Street in Akron for the city’s second March for Equality. They represented LGBTQ youth groups and social clubs, political campaigns, health agencies, and supportive and welcoming businesses.

Perhaps the most uplifting message, though, came from a mom who stood in front of her home along the parade route, offering smiles and free hugs and four signs of hope to those marching by.

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The woman named Stephanie hung four cardboard signs on the fence of her front yard:

• “We Are Sorry if the Church Hurt You”

• “Jesus Loves You”

• “We Love You”

• God Is in a Good Mood”

Eleven churches took part in Akron Pride festivities on Saturday.

The Human Rights Campaign has compiled information about how various faiths view LGBTQ people. HRC also has information about organizations within various faiths for LGBTQ people and allies.

Equality Ohio maintains a directory of welcoming and affirming places of worship throughout Ohio.


Bob Vitale
A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, Bob has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.