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Annual “Gay the Hathaway” march seeks unity and change

Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 9:04 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

Sunday afternoon locals, as well as members of the LGBTQ community and Black Lives Matter movement, walked the Hathaway Bridge to celebrate pride in the annual “Gay the Hathaway” march.

“Everyone here represents somebody or a part of our community, whether you’re male, female, transgender, LGBTQ, black, white, it doesn’t matter,” said events director for the LGBTQ Center of Bay County William Shurbutt. “We’re all part of the human race but we all represent some part of our community here.”

Organizers with the LGBTQ Center of Bay County say around 150 people showed up for the march.

Those in attendance say it's a good way to inspire meaningful change.

“If your communities band together than your elected politicians have no choice but to reconsider the way they’ve done business, reconsider the laws and policies that they have set in place,” said Vice President of the Northwest Florida Minority Business Chamber of Commerce Tony Bostick.

With members of both groups marching side by side, organizers say now than ever it's important for everyone to come together as a community.

"Whether it's my particular issue or someone else's issue, we're all in that boat together. If that boat starts to take on water, if we don't patch that hole, repair the breach so to speak, then we'll all sink together," said Bostick.

“The bottom line is we’re all the same. We all get up and go to work, have families, have lives, we all are the same. The only difference is maybe who we love,” added Shurbutt.

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