Michigan Pro-Life Group Banned From Having Float in Holland’s Tulip Time Parade
by Steven Ertelt
April 1, 2009
Holland, MI (LifeNews.com) — After having a float in the local parade for over 25 years, local pro-life advocates in western Michigan are upset that Holland’s Tulip Time officials denied their application to participate. Authorities say they have had a longstanding ban that they never enforced until this year.
The flower festival celebrates 80 years in May and for a quarter century pro-life advocates have participated in the well-attended event as a way of fostering more awareness about the problems with abortion.
The festival’s board recently applied and received a nonprofit tax status and it is citing that as the reason for denying the Right to Life float.
But Carol Brower, executive director of Right to Life of the Holland Area, says the several thousand members of her group and people in the local community are upset.
"We’re confused and totally shocked by this," she told the Grand Rapids Press. "We’ve had a professionally decorated float in Tulip Time for 25 years. Right to Life is part of this community and we want to continue being part of the parade."
"So many of our volunteers want to ride the float at Tulip Time because it’s such a fun event," she added.
"People in whole sections of bleachers stand and applaud as we pass. Occasionally, someone boos but never more than one or two, and not even that happens every year," Brower told the newspaper.
Tamra Bouman, festival director, says the festival can no longer allow groups to participate that engage in legislative lobbying.
Although the festival denied Right to Life, the Press indicates no other faith groups were denied and a county political party was allowed to have a float as well and it is decorated with the names of political candidates.
Right to Life has a board meeting planned for Thursday night to respond to the decision but appears to have few options.
ACTION: Contact festival organizers with your complaints by going to
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