For some, Marietta and Cobb County still carry the stigma of 1993, when the Cobb County Commission made international headlines with a resolution condemning the “gay lifestyle” as incompatible with community standards.

But much has changed in Cobb over the last 17 years. The gay bar LeBuzz continues to draw a steady crowd, and a gay man, Johnny Sinclair, serves on the Marietta City Council.

Now, for the first time, Marietta will also have its own Pride celebration. The Marietta Rainbow Festival, scheduled for today, is a project of the new North Georgia Rainbow Coalition.

The new LGBT group is headed up by Johnathon Murphy, the president and managing partner of LeBuzz, who believes it’s high time people realize that there is a vibrant community north of the perimeter.

The theme for 2010 is “Our Declaration of Independence.”

“We may be by ourselves, but we are never alone,” the Rainbow Coalition says. “We recognize and celebrate our diversity together. We stand now with Pride in North Georgia and declare that we will now lead and never follow.”

Today’s festival will take place at LeBuzz, with master of ceremonies Nicole Paige Brooks and DJs, bands and drag shows. A performance by Barry Brandon and Jose Luis Rodriguez is slated for 10:30 p.m. A dance party continues until 3 a.m.

Marietta Rainbow Festival
Saturday, July 24
Noon – 11 p.m. in the parking lot of LeBuzz
585 Franklin Road, Marietta, GA 30067

North Georgia Rainbow Coalition
www.rainbowgeorgia.com

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