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Long Beach : Gay Festival Called Success

May 22, 1986

There was soda instead of beer and wine this year, but the third annual gay pride festival last weekend turned out to be a fun-filled and profitable event, according to Judith Doyle, president of Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Inc., sponsor of the festival.

A Superior Court judge last week ruled that Long Beach could not require the group to buy liability insurance for the parade, but upheld the city's requirement for insurance pertaining to the sale and consumption of alcohol during the festival. Because the group was unable to provide such insurance, refreshments were limited to soft drinks.

"Thank goodness the community was out there for us," Doyle said. "We would have made a lot more money with it (alcohol), but it didn't stop us."

Doyle said she was worried that the festival would lose money without revenue from alcohol sales, but she estimated that about $12,400 was raised during the two-day event.

Last year, beer and wine was served at the festival, which raised about $7,500, according to Doyle, who said the festival costs about $28,000 to organize and stage.

Various gay and lesbian groups, business associations and church groups participated to raise money for their organizations. Some of the money raised by Lesbian and Gay Pride Inc. will be donated in July to one organization that serves the gay and lesbian community and the rest will be used for next year's festival, which, Doyle said, will go on with or without beer and wine sales.

About 5,000 people attended the festival Saturday and more than 7,000 spectators lined Ocean Boulevard to watch the parade Sunday, said Long Beach Police Sgt. Wendall Armstrong. Except for a few demonstrators who heckled the parade, Doyle said, the weekend went smoothly.

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