Posted by on July 17, 2021 8:27 pm

Categories: Coal Region Newswire Coal Region Newswire 2 Local News

Pennsylvania Lt Governor John Fetterman attends Pottsville PrideFest 2021

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Gov. John Fetterman brought a divisive, partisan message to the second annual Pottsville PrideFest on Saturday afternoon.

While PrideFest is supposed to be an inclusive event, created to celebrate the LGBTQ community in the city and Schuylkill County, Fetterman chose to throw shade on Republicans, mostly in Harrisburg, during a brief 4-minute speech to the several hundred people attending.

His entire 4-minute speech was just a campaign stump speech. He, of course, is running for US Senate in 2022 and he was followed up later during the day by another Senate candidate, State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, an openly gay member of the General Assembly in Harrisburg.

Even though he said, “It’s not so much about my campaign today, it’s about you all here,” it was really just about himself.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman Visits Pottsville PrideFest 2021

Fetterman, wearing a rainbow hat with a rainbow Pride flag and faux Hawai’ian lei around his neck and sometimes sucking on a lollipop, started by identifying Schuylkill County as a “red county” and said of another county’s first Pride festival, “A thousand people came out to one of the reddest counties for their first Pride event ever. Things are changing in Pennsylvania.”

He then complained about Republicans holding up passage of the Pennsylvania Fairness Act. Fetterman repeated a talking point we found in several previous media reports on this issue.

He, along with Gov. Tom Wolf, say they’re embarrassed that Pennsylvania is the “only state in the Northeast” that doesn’t have legislation that addresses discrimination against a person’s “sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression” for “housing, employment, education, and public accommodations,” according to an WHYY report from June.

pottsville pride festival fetterman gavaletz

The Fettermans, John and Pennsylvania Second Lady Gisele, pose with Mikaela Gavaletz, pose for a picture at the second annual Pottsville PrideFest, an event she originally organized in 2020.

“There is not a day that goes by that I am not ashamed of our Commonwealth for not extending the basic, fundamental protection under the law to the gay and trans communities that everyone deserves,” Fetterman said Saturday. “The governor and I have been pushing for it as long as we’ve been in office.”

To that, according to the WHYY report, Republicans say they find it interesting that the Wolf administration wants the GOP to work with them but they, themselves, have failed to do that over the last year with Republican-backed legislation.

“We need the Republicans to just step back and say ‘We are all equal under the eyes of the law’ and just let everyone have what everyone deserves,” Fetterman added.

The Lieutenant Governor also made sure the audience knew he supported their cause by trying to prove how woke he was before being woke was even a thing.

Gay Marriage

Fetterman told the audience in Pottsville that during 2013 that he was the only public official performing gay marriages in Pennsylvania. He then went back to the previous administration to further paint Republicans in Pennsylvania as the boogeyman.

“Tom Corbett threatened to have me arrested,” he said. “I said, ‘If you want to send the Gay Police to have me arrested, you know where I am’.

“It’s always about being on the right side of history and I’ve never been afraid of the consequences of doing or saying the right things,” Fetterman continued.

Gay marriage became legal in Pennsylvania in May 2014, so technically, at the time he claims to have been performing gay wedding ceremonies, Fetterman was violating Commonwealth law.

And someone should remind Fetterman that being anti-gay marriage isn’t just a “red” thing. Remember when this Democrat said he opposed gay marriage?

This was only 10 years ago …

In fact, it was only after Joe Biden said he did support gay marriage that Barack Obama said he’d gone through an “evolution on this issue” and came out in support of same-sex marriages in 2012 but at that time, politicians agreed it should be a state issue, not a federal one.

Flying the Pride Flag

Fetterman also bragged about his flying the Pride flag off the balcony of his office at the Capitol building in Harrisburg. He’s also flown a flag featuring a marijuana leaf and each has drawn the ire of Republicans and others who don’t want our majestic building there looking like a freshman’s dorm room.

“It was my hope that promoting this would move us closer,” he said. “The legislature, six months ago, had the opportunity to include language that would have granted full equality to members of the gay and trans communities here in Pennsylvania and they voted against it unanimously.

“But you know what law they did pass was banning me from flying flags on my balcony. They literally passed a law banning me from flying my flags on the balcony,” he said.

It should be noted that Gov. Tom Wolf signed that law because it was part of a budget bill which restricted flags that could be flown at the Capitol. And could you imagine the fit Democrats in Harrisburg would have caused if a Republican member of the General Assembly flew a Trump 2020 flag off their balcony?

We just found it rather ironic that at an event promoting inclusion, Fetterman would bring a message of partisanship and division. He, after all, claims to have met several Republicans during his short time at Pottsville PrideFest.

Of course, he’s a politician and that’s what they’re best at doing … say they’re trying to promote unity but instead, spread division.

Pottsville PrideFest 2021

pottsville pride festival 2021

This is the second year for Pottsville PrideFest, an event held for the first time in 2020 despite some dampening restrictions caused by the COVID pandemic.

This year’s event was definitely better attended with hundreds filling the Pottsville Lions Club Amphitheater at Gen. George Joulwan Park on the city’s East Side.

Many attendees this year sought cover and shade under the trees around the amphitheater bowl due to sizzling, swampy heat and some occasional rain.

Photos: Coal Region Canary

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19 responses to Fetterman Brings Partisan Message to Pottsville PrideFest

  1. Kim Groff July 18th, 2021 at 7:17 am

    Wow!! About as many people at the park as a Biden Presidential rally…


  2. Theresa Price July 18th, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    He’s for weed and gay rights. Okay. Where does he stand on foreign policy? He says nothing about anything else.


  3. Jim Bremer July 18th, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    I don’t have a problem with Pride or Pride events, but I thought Fetterman’s message was needlessly partisan and in somewhat poor taste as well, so it’s funny to come to this site and see that others noticed it too.


  4. Liberal Hater July 18th, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    Pride cometh before the FALL !!


    • Mikaela Gavaletz July 19th, 2021 at 1:47 pm

      Is this a threat ? If so, let me know and I’ll have this investigated!


      • Canary Commenter July 19th, 2021 at 3:12 pm

        Pretty sure that wasn’t a threat. Just a weird comment.


  5. Mikaela Gavaletz July 18th, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Mikaela Gavaletz here.
    If you want facts, come to the source.
    You did not even attend the festival and seek out a comment from me.
    I am the founder, Executive Director of PrideFest.
    Come at me for an interview and be prepared to be educated on the issues that matter to the LGBTQ community.
    Some of your readers would appreciate an education.


    • Canary Commenter July 19th, 2021 at 9:18 am

      If we didn’t attend the event, how did we get those photos? How were we able to quote Fetterman? In fact, we were at the event on Saturday and in 2020.

      The story was about Fetterman, specifically, and his message. Nothing negative was said about your event whatsoever, just him.


      • Mikaela Gavaletz July 19th, 2021 at 1:45 pm

        I retract my statement. Fair enough. All of the other media present, interviewed me. I knew who was represented.
        I would have explained the reasons why I invited the men to speak.
        The reason he bashed the right was of my urging.
        There is a reason for it and you, as a journalist, should know the reasons.
        You were kind in your article to me and the Pride Event.
        If you want to take me up on an invitation to talk, I’m down for it.


        • Canary Commenter July 19th, 2021 at 3:26 pm

          We’ll be in touch. Until then, we do believe the event was a good one and it must have taken a major effort to pull it off. We talked last year about that.


          • Mikaela Gavaletz July 19th, 2021 at 3:59 pm

            Thank you. I appreciate the compliment!


  6. Mikaela Gavaletz July 19th, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Far right wing conservatives in 40 states are looking to CANCEL transgender youth and the LGBTQ community as a whole. (Look at big ol’ Liberal Hater in this thread)
    Lawmakers working for conservative religious groups in the Bible Belt of the U.S. are the most extreme “cancel culture” pushers.
    The youth of this county are afraid and rightly so.
    The bullying and the hateful socio-political climate the Trump Administration created over the last 4 years, at the urging of the Evangelical Christians, had ME…a confident and strong adult, has ME a little bit shaken.
    Do Dems have that effect on you and your family?


    • PTFloridians July 19th, 2021 at 11:33 pm

      (Look at lil’ ‘ol Conservative hater in this thread…)…your words, with one substitute…
      …the word “hate” is strong and often misused to describe a disagreement with, or, a dislike for something. Just because someone may disagree with a way of living or a political party doesn’t mean they “hate” something. Your organization of this get together is your right and your cause, i suppose, but your use of Fetterman, as a political tool, to disparage folks who disagree with your way of life or politics was wrong, imho…
      …there are MORE opportunities and MORE available funds and programs, as well as MORE acceptance for your cause, and your community, than EVER before, in history…same for other races, cultures, and even the incarcerated…more than EVER.
      Try not to be so angry tho.


    • Jim Bremer July 22nd, 2021 at 9:22 am

      As a gay guy myself, I’d urge you to take a step back and re-evaluate the amount of hate you seem to have all bottled up inside. The LGBT community is not a monolith and we’re not all supportive of the Democratic Party, especially after their lurch to the far left and their flirtation with socialism. And whether or not you want to turn Pride into a “bash the right” event is up to you, since this is “your” event, but I think a message of hope, joy, and community would have been better. But I do understand that for some people, being LBGT and politics is so closely intertwined, and there are some folks out there who can’t resist the opportunity to make everything political.

      Life is too short to be angry all the time. That doesn’t mean that you have to be OK or accept what you perceive to be grave injustices, but you might want to open your mind to other points of view, and consider the fact that there probably were people in the LGBT community at Pride who don’t share your exact views, and that’s OK.

      I graduated from PAHS in the early 2000s. Even between then and now, the level of acceptance for the LGBT community has only grown, even with all of the “hate” that you perceive to be around. I was afraid to admit I’m gay back then, but in a short amount of time, things have changed so much, and for the better.

      Either way, I appreciate your effort to set this up in Pottsville. But wanted to share my $0.02.


  7. stop your hatred July 19th, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    children need to he protected from your garbage. stop whining about people wanting innocent children to have a normal healthy and productive life. just because you have psychological problems does not mean everyone is out to get you. it amazes me that everytime someone tries to have a civilized logical discussion with the leftist like you it becomes a screaming match full of illogical so called facts. stop youre hatred of those who disagree with you and you’ll live longer. ill keep you in my prayers because thats what we conservatives do, pray for our enemies. have a good evening and stop your hatred.


  8. PTFloridians July 20th, 2021 at 10:11 am

    As long as The Canary is OK with reposting this article from the USA Today (a Left Wing media source), I’d like to make you aware of the strides and hurdles that President Trump and the Republican party has made and overcome, to encourage inclusivity and opportunity, and to incorporate, meaningful policy changes moving forward. The narrative and fear mongering belched out daily, by the propaganda machine of the Left, doesn’t share these things in a thankful, victorious way…they just keep on picking at the scab and perpetuating the fear and loathing. Be well and enjoy your journey, but never stop digging for truth and understanding.


  9. PTFloridians July 20th, 2021 at 10:12 am


  10. PTFloridians July 25th, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Sooo, where’d little Miss Mikaela go, after entering the discussion with such ferocity…? the thoughts here are compelling and thought provoking…!?!?…


    • Canary Commenter July 25th, 2021 at 2:55 pm

      We really enjoyed the discussion on this post. Most of the comments were pretty respectful. We advocate for equal rights and freedom for everyone but definitely not special rights. And we’ll call out hypocrisy whenever we see or hear it.


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