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

Boise Pride
Posted at 6:14 PM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 20:15:18-04

Zions Bank pulled its sponsorship from the 2022 Boise Pride Festival over a planned Drag Kids performance.

In a statement posted to social media Wednesday, Zions Bank officials announced they were "unaware of the event's activities involving children/minors" and have pulled participation from the 2022 event.

"Over the years, Zions Bank has supported a variety of Pride events because they are an important part of our support for our LGBTQ employees and allies and are representative of our efforts to foster an inclusive, diverse and equitable workplace and community," the statement reads. "This support for all of our employees and communities remains unchanged."

In response, Boise Pride organizers posted a statement to Twitter saying they are "saddened to learn this is how they have chosen to respond to clearly anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and actions."

Drag Kids, planned for 12:45 p.m. Sunday at the event, is described in the official Pride Guide as "a drag show like none other the Drag Kids range from ages 11-18 and are ready to bring it all to the Boise Pride Festival Stage! Come and cheer them on as they bring drag to the younger generation!"

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.

"To be clear, this is no sleight-of-hand or political wordsmithing: Idaho’s Democrat party believes it is not only okay but laudable to encourage children to engage in public displays of sexuality," Moon wrote in the email statement. "For those who have been following the radicalization of the Democrat party, this should come as no surprise."

Related: 'We are not deterred!': Pride flags stolen from Harrison Boulevard, Boise Police investigating

Idaho Democrats called the controversy "hateful rhetoric, bullying and extremism."

“We support the Boise Pride Festival and its celebration of diversity and inclusion. Idaho Democrats will continue to fight for the right of every Idahoan to be proud, love openly and live authentically," Idaho Democratic Chair Lauren Necochea said in a statement Wednesday evening. "LGTBQ+ youth are particularly vulnerable to bullying and shaming. We condemn the Idaho GOP for targeting youth while distorting the truth for political gain. To our young people, we say, you are perfect just the way you are."

Zions Bank is no longer listed as a sponsor on the official Boise Pride website as of Wednesday evening.