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Fashionista Tim Gunn calls out Atlanta Pride over aquarium party

Tim Gunn

The Atlanta Pride Committee is again under fire for its Georgia Aquarium official kick-off event over concerns for the health of the marine animals there.

Tim Gunn, known for his role on TV's “Project Runway,” has written a letter to Atlanta Pride Committee Executive Director Buck Cooke, urging Cooke and the Atlanta Pride Committee to change venues for the Oct. 11 Atlanta Pride Kick-off Party.

Gunn, writing on behalf of animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), called the event “disturbing” for the animals housed at the aquarium and called on the APC to find another venue. (See a full copy of the letter below.)

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Atlanta Pride sticks to October in Piedmont Park

Georgia Aquarium during Atlanta Pride Kickoff Party

For the fourth consecutive year, Atlanta Pride will be held in Piedmont Park in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day.

This year’s festival will be held Oct. 12-13. National Coming Out Day is Friday, Oct. 11, the night of the Pride kick-off party at the Georgia Aquarium, which also returns for 2013 despite criticism from some animal activists last year.

"Atlanta Pride is excited to announce our dates for the 43rd Annual Atlanta Pride Festival. Planning for the 2013 festival began six months ago and we are, of course, always thrilled to return to Piedmont Park,” said Buck Cooke, Atlanta Pride executive director, in a press release today.

"National Coming Out Day continues to be a great fit for our festival and we are excited to have the Official Kick-off Party at the Georgia Aquarium occur on this very important date,” Cooke said.

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[Photos] Georgia Aquarium party kicks off Atlanta Pride

Atlanta Pride aquarium party

The Atlanta Pride Committee held a VIP party at the Georgia Aquarium on Friday, Oct. 12, to honor and recognize sponsors and supporters of the annual festival. Grand marshals of the Atlanta Pride parade were honored and honorary grand marshals Stuart Milk, the gay nephew of the gay icon Harvey Milk, and Ben Cohen, founder of the anti-bullying StandUp Foundation, thanked everyone for their support. U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon who has been a stalwart supporter of LGBT equality, also gave a rousing speech. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was also on hand to welcome people to Atlanta.

To view more photos from the Pride VIP party, click here.

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PETA announces full protest of upcoming Atlanta Pride kickoff party

https://cdn.thegavoice.com/images/stories/10-14-11/gaaquarium-body-10-14-11.jpg

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals today announced plans to protest Friday's Atlanta Pride Kickoff Party at the Georgia Aquarium over concerns the event is harmful to the animals inside the aquarium.

Dan Matthews, a PETA senior vice president, sent a letter to acting Atlanta Pride Executive Director Buck Cooke, again urging Cooke and the Atlanta Pride Committee to move the annual event to a venue that does not hold animals captive.

Matthews, who is gay, holds no punches in the latest letter to the APC, including accusing Atlanta Pride of misogyny, after Cooke and members of the APC have failed to directly respond to PETA's communications written by women.