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George Takei to be Grand Marshal of PRIDE

Anne Evans Anne Evans George Takei to be Grand Marshal of PRIDEGeorge Takei, Grand Marshal of the 2014 PRIDE Parade. Photo by Adam Bouska.
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Juanita McDade throwin' shade during the 2013 Pride Festival. Photo by Todd Popp.

Juanita McDade throwin’ shade during the 2013 Pride Festival. Photo by Todd Popp.

One of the best festivals in Columbus is getting an exciting boost this year. Stonewall Columbus has announced George Takei will be the Grand Marshal of this year’s PRIDE Parade.

“We are honored to have George Takei join us for this year’s Pride Celebration,” says Karla Rothan, Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus.

Grand Marshal, George Takei will lead the Pride Parade on Saturday, June 21, 2014. The parade steps off at 11am -an hour earlier than previous parades- in Downtown Columbus.

“As an artist and activist, George’s compelling story syncs with our theme, “Created Equal,” says Rothan.

This year’s logo for Pride is the rainbow flag torn apart in the center of an outline of the state of Ohio. Even though Cincinnati Judge Timothy Black announced yesterday a plan to strike down Ohio’s ban on recognizing marriage between two men or two women, Ohio still has a long way to go toward marriage equality.

“We are far from created equal in this state and in so many places around the world,” says Rothan. “Throughout the globe, LGBT people live without equal rights in isolation and fear. George has worked tirelessly on behalf of our rights and we honor him in June for his lifetime of activism.”

In addition to his best known role as Hikaru Sulu of Star Trek, Takei has had many on-camera television roles, and regularly lends his voice to animated series and narration projects. He is an outspoken supporter of human rights issues and a community activist.

Takei serves as chairman emeritus and as a trustee of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. As an openly gay man, Takei has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign “Coming Out Project,” and was cultural affairs chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League.

Former President Clinton had appointed Takei to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the government of Japan awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S.-Japanese relations.

On September 14, 2008, Takei married his long-time partner Brad Altman at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. They were the first same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license in West Hollywood.

Takei will be accepting his award as the Grand Marshal at the Pride Brunch on Sunday, June 22, 2014, from 11am-1pm at the Columbus Athenaeum. Limited tickets are available and reservations are required. Tickets will not be available at the door.

PRIDE Festival entrance donations are now on sale. For more information about this year’s Stonewall Columbus PRIDE Parade and Festival, visit ColumbusPRIDE.org.

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