Actress Jane Lynch this week sent a letter to the Atlanta Pride Committee urging the APC to change the venue of its now-annual Pride Kickoff Party at the Georgia Aquarium over concerns for the animals' well-being.
"These parties are supposed to be loud and boisterous—it's a celebration!" writes Lynch in a letter to APC's acting Executive Director Buck Cooke.
"However, animals shouldn't have to suffer for the sake of a party,” Lynch continued. “Many of the marine mammals at the aquarium are extremely sensitive to sound, and large parties create an even more stressful environment than they already endure in captivity. … Since the kickoff party sets the tone for all of Pride, will you please consider moving it to one of the many alternative venues that Atlanta has to offer?"
The Atlanta Pride Committee today announced the hiring of Buck Cooke as the interim events manager. Cooke will handle the day-to-day operations of the APC during the search process for a new executive director.
The organization's previous executive director, James Parker Sheffield, stepped down from the position last week to take a job with the Health Initiative, which addresses LGBT health issues.
Cooke has volunteered with the APC in the past, including a recent position as the co-chair of the organization's entertainment committee.
The Atlanta Pride Committee opened nominations for 2011 Pride Parade Grand Marshals today. Last year to celebrate the festival's 40th anniversary, some 120 honorary Grand Marshals marched in the parade wearing special green shirts.
According to the Pride Committee, nominees do not have to reside in Georgia, but submissions are encouraged to have a connection with the local LGBT community.
All nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. on June 1.