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Gay pride parade in Wausau called off at last minute after public backlash

WAUSAU, WI (WTAQ) - A gay pride parade scheduled for Saturday in Wausau has been called off, after a public backlash that reportedly made some participants afraid for their safety.

Daxx Bouvier – who lives in California but owns a house in Wausau – organized the event. But once public criticism hit the local media, Bouvier sent a notice to the city this week that he was calling it off.

He tells the Wausau Daily Herald he’s disappointed in the public’s response, especially by those he never met. He said participants told him they had feared for their safety.

Bouvier calls it a loss to the Wausau area’s lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and trans-gender community – and the parade’s cancellation quote, “set Wausau back 30 years in the way people think about the gay community.”

Meanwhile, Shannon Thomas of Wausau says an unrelated “March for Equality” will be held Saturday afternoon from Marathon Park on Wausau’s west side to the downtown area.

She told the Daily Herald she hopes about 300 will show up, but WSAU Radio said officials expect less than a dozen people.

City Clerk Toni Rayala says they’ll using sidewalks – and they won’t need a permit because no city services have been requested.