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More companies pull from Boise Pride Fest over Drag Kids event, others affirm sponsorship

Boise's police, gay community work to heal old wounds
Posted at 5:13 PM, Sep 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-09 15:39:33-04

BOISE, Idaho — UPDATE: Several more sponsors withdrew from Boise Pride Festival over cited concerns with the Drag Kids show that is now postponed while others affirm their support.

CapEd Credit Union and Idaho Central Credit Union announced they are withdrawing sponsorship from the 2022 event.

While the two credit unions pulled out, several other companies affirmed their support for Boise Pride.

Central District Health posted a statement saying the health district believes "having an engaging, public presence is critical to educating and empowering people to make informed choices about their health."

Blue Cross of Idaho officials posted a statement reaffirming its support for the 2022 event and saying "we participate in Pride as part of our support for for the LGBTQ+ community, our employees and their families. We will always oppose discrimination and exploitation of any kind."

Original: Three different sponsors have withdrawn their sponsorship from Boise Pride Festival following the controversy surrounding a Drag Kids Performance.

Idaho Power confirmed to Idaho News 6 Thursday they were backing out of their sponsorship for Boise Pride, citing concerns over the Drag Kids event. Zion Banked announced Wednesday they were withdrawing their sponsorship of the event stating they were “unaware of the event's activities involving children/minors.”

Related: Zions Bank pulls funding from Boise Pride Festival over planned children's drag event

Newly-elected Idaho GOP Chairwoman Dorothy Moon released a statement Wednesday morning calling on "concerned Idahoans" to "disavow this attack on Idaho's children and invest their sponsorship dollars elsewhere."

"Due to programming changes that occurred after our sponsorship and concerns for the safety of employees and volunteers, we have withdrawn our participation in the Boise Pride event. We will continue to support our diverse communities,” said Brad Bowlin, spokesperson for Idaho Power.

Related: Drag Kids event at Boise Pride Festival postponed

Shortly after, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare also stated they were withdrawing their sponsorship of the Boise Pride activities this weekend, including their support with both Project Filter and the Idaho HIV, STD and Hepatitis Prevention and Care Program.

In a letter sent to the Boise Pride Festival Director Donald Williamson, IDHW Director Dave Jeppesen wrote the department's sponsorship of the event "led to some confusion."

“DHW serves all Idahoans, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation," he said. "The department’s mission is to help Idahoans live safe, independent, and healthy lives. Sponsoring events across the state is an opportunity for DHW programs to interact and provide public health education and services to diverse communities across Idaho."

“DHW’s sponsorship of Boise Pride 2022 has led to some confusion about whether DHW endorses specific event activities involving minors during this event. To avoid any confusion regarding DHW’s support of such activities, DHW is withdrawing both of its Orange Level sponsorships and Project Filter will no longer be supporting a booth at the event this weekend. We value our partnership and collaborations with the LGBTQ+ community and look forward to opportunities in the future to continue to help all Idahoans live safe, independent, and healthy lives.”

Zions Bank, Idaho Power and IDHW are no longer listed as sponsors on the Boise Pride Festival website.