"Even though the festival is the big thing that the community sees, we've been working behind the scenes," said Lisa Green, Charlottesville Pride Community Network vice president.
One thing they're trying to do is get the conversation started about same-sex couples in area schools.
"My two kids and my partner and I are fortunate enough to live in a very accepting part of the city," said Charlottesville Pride Community Network president Amy Marshall. "There are a lot of families, same-sex families in the city," she said.
The Charlottesville Pride Community Network is also working on a health summit and trying to connect with businesses for support. They say support has grown since last year's festival.
"I have to say, there's been an amazing groundswell of outspoken support for marriage equality and for gay rights in general here in the city," said Marshall. "I've seen more people being able to walk with their partner hand and hand down the downtown mall, on trails, and just heard a lot of support from people all across the city, it's been wonderful."
Green said the Charlottesville Human Rights Commission is a big step toward equality as well. "Adding the gay, and lesbian and bisexual language to that Human Rights Commission was huge," she said.
And as for same-sex marriage one day being legalized in Virginia, "I am extremely hopeful for the upcoming election," said Green. "We are so far behind as a state, so this year's election is probably, for Virginia, more important than our presidential election."
Last year, over 2,00 people attended the Charlottesville Pride Festival. This year it will be even longer, and will feature more performers, food, and music.
The Charlottesville Pride Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 14 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Lee Park.
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